Sunday, November 25, 2012

a series of fortunate events {ncte2012}

once upon a time... i got to attend the ncte {national council of teachers of english} annual convention in las vegas. and through the process of asking to go, getting the funding, being joined by my dear co-worker and friend, traveling to las vegas, attending event after event, and finally heading back home, i really experienced a series of fortunate events. though it seems natural to blog about this huge event in a linear fashion, i learned at one session that a creative approach is almost always more memorable and better quality than a predictable five-paragraph essay, so...

i'd like to start with lunch on the second day, where i met the author of the series that inspired this blog title, a series of unfortunate events' lemony snicket {aka daniel handler}. sarah {my co-worker and friend who i attended the conference with} and i went to the middle school luncheon on friday, which ended with a speech from lemony snicket himself.

conference tip #1: if you have the chance, sit at the front row / front table. if you conquer the awkwardness, you too may have a view like this
 of the keynote speaker. yes. {also, if you sit at that table, it might be partially empty, and when you drop chicken on your dessert, you'll be able to swap for an untarnished dessert. or so i've heard...}

okay, so back to the speech. lemony snicket was HILARIOUS. i know i can't describe it adequately, so i'll summarize: story about bees escaping a flipped semi + letter from a young fan + idiotic dear abby column + childhood stories + anecdotes about working in a computer lab pre-computers = a really funny yet moving speech about writing, youth, life, creativity, and curiosity. i loved it. i laughed. i learned. i got to meet lemony snicket / daniel handler afterwards...

the ecstatic but uncomfortable smile on my face and the amazing expression on his face pretty much sum up our interaction, but i'll do my best to transpose it here:

me: it's so nice to meet you! can i get a picture with you?
him: sure! thanks for laughing so much during my speech.
me: you're welcome; thanks for being so funny in your speech.
him: wow.
{inset awkward pause of picture-taking as i say "are you being awkward?!" and he says "yes."}
*WARNING: word vomit ahead!*
me: okay, i wasn't going to tell you this but when i was in high school we made a version of your first book as our senior play for halloween at barnes and noble and i'm not sure if that's copyright infringement or anything so i almost didn't tell you but then i did!
him: that is copyright infringement. i'm going to need that picture back.
me: sorry. i can tell your kidding. anyway, i played a man. obviously.
him: wait... why is that obvious?!
me: um... i don't know... i don't know why i've said any of this... thanks for the picture!
him: you're welcome.
me to sarah: oh my gosh, why can't i stop talking?!
[and scene.]

conference tip #2: try to control the amount of words you say when meeting a famous and/or semi-famous person. learn from my mistakes. you will see this lesson repeat itself to varying degrees throughout this blog series.

coming up next: "day 1 of ncte | kind and generous."

p.s. yes, the luncheon's dessert was lemony.


Eve said...

ha! That picture is wonderful. You should hang it in your classroom. obviously.

Beth S. said...

ROFL! This post is hilarious! I wasn't able to meet Daniel Handler, AKA Lemony Snicket, at NCTE but now I wish I had based on that epically awkward conversation. :)

Meredith said...

This post made me laugh so much! love you.

Jill said...

love this post. Gotta love the awkward moments that make great stories :)