Viva Las Vegas – A tale of two conventions

Hello, Literacy Lovers!

This weekend we were in HOT and sunny Vegas celebrating my husband’s 30th birthday.  We had tickets for the UFC Fan Expo and to see the highly touted fight- UFC 162. Yes, I was racking up major supportive wife points all weekend.

While walking around the convention center floor, I watched fans, young and old, scrambling for pictures and waiting for hours to get the autographs of their favorite fighters, and I couldn’t help but draw parallels between this event and the NCTE conventions that I have been lucky to attend in the past. If you’ve never been, let me tell you that the NCTE exhibit hall is not for the faint at heart. It is packed with adoring teachers and librarians seeking out (ok, sometimes stalking) authors and ARCs. We all know there are certain authors we would wait in line for a very, very long time to see. I’m looking at you, Patrick Ness, John Green and Veronica Roth.

While dutifully taking pictures for my husband and patiently sitting through hour long Q & A sessions, it was pretty inspiring to see fighters take the time to sign countless autographs and answer (what seemed to me) the same questions over and over. The way the audiences reacted to their heroes’ stories and the pumped up promoters touting Saturday’s fight was infectious. Even as an outsider, it was easy to get caught up in the hype and electric atmosphere.

If you’ve never been to NCTE or a convention for teachers, I highly suggest finding a way to go. I am very thankful that there are conventions for teachers and librarians, so we too can get caught up in the hype of seeing our author heroes and listening to their inspiring stories. After such an uplifting weekend, it’s easy to go back to the classroom and hype up our students with tales of meeting authors and showing off new titles while promoting a love of life long reading at the same time.

Have a great week!

Lesley

Speaking of conferences… I’ll be at nErDcamp in Battle Creek, MI on Thursday. Will I see you there? 🙂

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