Friday, October 10, 2008

Chicago GTA Recap

I haven't had time to blog about the Chicago GTA. It was truly an awesome experience. I have never been to Chicago before, but ever since watching the show "Perfect Strangers", I have wanted to ride the "L" or elevated train. After I landed at O'Hare, I was able to live my dream. I hopped on th "L" with the help of several friendly attendants and $2 and 40 minutes later, I was at my hotel. I wish I had more time to sight see, but I had a great view from my hotel, which was just across the street from Google Chicago. Last year my students created a Google lit trip about the novel Chasing Vermeer, which is mostly set in the Hyde Park section of Chicago and I really wanted to tour the area. However, I did meet several teachers who worked with Blue Balliett before she became a full-time author. I will definitely have to travel back to Chicago because I missed the Magnificent Mile and Oprah! I met up with Lisa Thumann and Cindy Lane (aka Google Earth Girl) and then we had dinner with the GTA team.
The next day was all Google all the time. One inspiring idea from Kern Kelley was that all of the seniors at his high school were gifted with a domain names as there graduation present. What a great idea for a gift that keeps on giving! I was able to meet so many people F2F, that I knew only by Twitter name. Even though I was at the GTA to present on Docs and Apps, I took away as much as I did from the GTA at Googleplex 2008 as an attendee. The atmosphere is so motivating and I swear its not just the food and the Starbucks machine, the giant bean bags and the PS3 Rock Band... when you are there all you want to do is "keep on moving forward." You are in an environment where you want to perform and question and succeed. Can't wait until NYC GTA on November 18th! It will be a Google trifecta for me!

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