Thursday, November 17, 2005

NCTE in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh – Steel Town – and the host for the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention. Although language arts is my specialty as a teacher and I've always been a reader, I have not had the opportunity to attend this convention before. This year, being a bit closer to the States and having a more reasonable teaching schedule, I figured it was time check this convention out.

Unfortunately, I have not found Pittsburgh to be a convention friendly city. The hotels downtown, next to the convention center, are expensive. When your school is not paying for the trip, you tend to look for something more moderate. However, having a hotel outside of downtown means trying to figure out the public transportation. After living overseas for almost 10 years, it irritates me that I have difficulty using public transportation in my home country. The schedules were unreasonable – once an hour in the evening and not at all on Sundays. Taxis are available, for a long wait and more moola.

Being mid-November, Christmas is oozing out of every pore – what happened to waiting until December? A beautiful nativity stands outside the US Steel building, a massive tree will be lit in the center of an ice rink, and gingerbread cities are displayed in windows. A a sure commercial sign – Egg Nog Latte from Starbucks!

A cold snap blew through Pittsburgh. Not being prepared, I'm off to Kaufmann's for some fuzzy gloves and a hat.

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