Fastest Ride to LAX: Goes to my son. Slow down and be safe honey, someone wants you to survive college intact!
Squishiest Airline Seat Ever: Delta – wow. They’ve squeezed in a couple more rows now. At least we can afford them.
Best Meal: Dinner in Brooklyn with Emmalee & Cornelius. Cod perfectly browned, moist and delicious. Small portion atop a light sauce with English peas, just barely cooked, still firm to the bite and braised endive. I’ve not had braised endive. Wow.
Best Walking Day: Saturday. Walked to the subway from the hotel at Midtown, rode to Times Square. Running too late to mess with more trains, catch a taxi to Columbia University. Join the throngs of teachers surging towards Riverside Church for a keynote speech by Patricia Pollacco. Walk all around TC to class after class, and then down Broadway. It’s a weekend; trains were not stopping at 116th. Not stopping until 93rd. Walk to subway. Off subway. Walk to the hotel. Walk to dinner and all around Duane Reed, (I love Duane Reed.) Back to the hotel. I make everyone walk the stairs to the room. 15,000 plus steps by bedtime. New personal Fitbit record.
Best Words Heard Uttered by a Child in a Stroller in Brooklyn: “Mama, I have my reading glasses on.”
Most Inspirational Speech to a Group: Kylene Beers. Such heart and vision for the teaching community. Deep understanding of what children need. Literacy is power. By teaching students to read and write we teach them to think and help, them lead empowered lives.
Best Brunch: Brooklyn (What is it about food in Brooklyn?) Great food and a live band in a small neighborhood restaurant with awesome colleague friends.
Best Meet Up of Mentors/Friends/Colleagues: Kitchenette on Saturday Afternoon. Thank you, Tara, Catherine, Shana, Cornelius, Fran, Julieanne & Emmalee for coming out and spending time in community. You enrich my life again and again and again.
Best Travel Companions: You know who you are, EB, JH & FM. Way to explore and engage, team! I’d travel with any of you anytime!
Best Hotel Experience: Affinity Dumont. LOVE it! Spacious rooms, pocket hotel in midtown. Comfortable, friendly and helpful staff. I’ll be back as soon as I can!
Best Conversations: Held over meals, on trains, walking down streets of Brooklyn or Manhattan with colleagues. I so value time spent talking with others who care so deeply and believe so passionately in the value and power of education.
Funniest Moments: How to acclimate to east coast weather by Julieanne & Emma. Seriously – a Saturday Night Live worthy bit. You two must consider taking this on the road.
Best Real-Life Teaching Points: With JH & EB anything is fair game. How about this one? Sometimes teachers need to relax. They do this because they want to decompress, recharge and feel better. One way they do this is by…. (you get the gist?)
Best Support Back Home: A friend who stays over with my dog. A daughter who runs around taking care of business. An office full of awesomeness including colleagues who text message and tweet congratulations and messages of support from across the country.
Most Complimentary Mentor/Colleague Ever: Cornelius. You connect with so many in such rich and beautiful ways. I will ever be grateful for our connection and for the opportunity to teach alongside you and learn from you. Thank you for shining your light on me.
Funkiest Starbucks: 33rd and Park. The drinks weren’t right, but they were interesting! And thanks for serving us right at closing time!
Most Fortuitous Meeting: Public Theater, New York City. Lin-Manuel Miranda. Seriously…he just walked out into the lobby and smiled straight at me as if to say, “Hello, Dayna. So glad you’re in NY!”
Biggest Bummer: Couldn’t make it out to see the work in one of Brooklyn’s schools with CM. Would love to visit NYC schools when I don’t have to squeeze it in between midtown and travel issues.
Strangest Subway Moment: The dude was talking all about crazy stuff like, “I like biology. I like physiology. I want to just go to my ex-wife’s house and have dinner and see what happens…” Please put your shirt back on, it’s cold out there.
Fanciest Airplane Seat Partner: Tuna for lunch. Full sized mirror to check that beautiful face again and again and again. I remember being 22 and doing my nails on a flight to Chicago once upon a time. Did I mention the seats are CLOSE together?
Greatest Travel Discovery: The air train into the city from JFK. Wow. How have I not known this all this time?
Best Reason to Fly to NYC for a Quick, Expensive, and Totally Worth it Weekend: Saturday Reunion
Thank you to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Dana, Stacey, & Tara of the fantastically supportive Two Writing Teachers for this beautiful space to share our writing and find support for growing as writers, teachers, and people. For more slices of life check here.