Do I go to Twitter Math Camp, or not? Wait, haven't I written this post before? Aha, but new year, new problems - and probably not the ones you think.
For those who need the context, Twitter Math Camp is a cross border gathering of math educators. It started in 2012. I went last year, and sort of live-blogged about it. The question is whether I go back, and this time the question doesn't arise due to any sort of scheduling conflict. No, this time it's all personal.
Let's break it down with the TOP 5 REASONS I MAY NOT ATTEND TMC14.
5. It takes someone else's spot.
It's a certainty that there will be more people wanting to go than the facility can accommodate, given the growth from year 1 to 2. If I'm on the list, that means someone else isn't. And there's a very good chance that the other person is more deserving, seeing as...
4. My teaching skills are not unique.
I have something of a reputation in my school for singing math. That's so commonplace in a group like TMC, that even though I presented Musical Math there (to one person), I was overlooked by an entire songwriting group until I said, "Uh, maybe I can help?" I suppose I also draw characters, but Justin Aion and Ben Orlin have that covered. Beyond that, as far as teaching goes, I'm a white male. There will be no shortage of those. To condense this argument to a few tweets:
|Thoughts at the last TMC|
3. I'm limited to my laptop.
Those earlier concerns were new, this one's old. I teach on a smartboard, yet my cell phone is 12 years old with an antenna. Come to think, I'm not sure I've ever actually sent a text. So given the choice of my non-unique skills (I'll hazard teaching or otherwise), versus those of someone you can actually get AHOLD of, it should be no contest. Particularly when you consider how...
2. I'm introverted.
I may be a unique individual, even if my individual skills are common. But I'm an individual who sits back and observes unless I really feel strongly about something. (Et cetera - for the long version, read my post here.) Maybe you can spot me in two pictures from the entirety of TMC last year. And while this makes me a good candidate to sit back and write the chronicle - that IS what I did that last year. Don't feel like doing it again. Besides, there will be other introverts there, so see Reason 5.
And then there's the real kicker against attending TMC14...
1. This very post will make it awkward.
"Should we try to cheer up the technophobe introvert by the wall?"
"Oh, let's ask the guy who talks about being invisible if he wants to be in the picture."
Because even if you WOULDN'T say those things, that's the stuff that will now be playing in the back of my mind. So this post may be it's own self-fulfiling prophecy, in that by posting it, I won't be coming. Yet I don't feel I could go WITHOUT throwing these mental blocks out to the masses - to do so would be like I was hiding my true feelings.
I also wonder just a bit if anyone else feels the same.
Now, as far as arguments FOR going to TMC, there is, of course, the Professional Development itself. Lots of learning. There's also the new location. And finally, there's the chance to see people (again) in person -- though here I don't feel the same thrill as others. Perhaps it's the introversion, though I also suspect I'd be a disappointment, as I'm far more interesting online.
Those Pros don't currently outweigh the Cons. But I'll continue to think it over. Just like last year.
"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."