Last week I spent my spring break loitering at the math teachers conference in Anaheim. I learned so much it’s been hard to contain it all. Here are some of my observations:.

I learned that no-one checks your badge to see if it’s counterfeit.

If you stay at the hotels, the daily parking is $16 where if you only drive in for the day it is $8. And if you park in Garden Grove and walk, it’s free. I would think the nightly hotel bill of $160 would offset some of the parking expenses.

I was pleasantly surprised when the parking attendant remembered me from my visit two days earlier.

If you buy a hot dog and soda at the Anaheim Convention Center it costs $9.50. I would think the $180 registration fee would offset some of the hot dog expenses.

I learned that $180 is actually inexpensive for a conference of this size and that the many vendors probably made up the difference.

You can get a lot of free stuff from vendors who want you to spend your school’s money on a lot of expensive stuff.

There are schools that can’t afford the expensive stuff so their teachers spend their own money on less effective substitutes.

I learned that far too many teachers spend their own money on less effective substitutes.

A cheerleading competition was scheduled next door. (I assume it was to cheer on the math teachers.)

People came as far as Australia. (To the math convention. I don’t know about the cheerleading one.)

I met a principal that wants me to move to New Mexico. (I assume it was to teach there.)

I met a teacher from Compton, California that doesn’t think merit pay based on student performance is fair when she has Algebra classes with 40 plus at-risk students while other districts have more motivated classes of thirty students or less.

She told me that she is considering quitting.

I met a surprisingly large number of people who were looking for the boat show. (They must have walked in from Garden Grove and didn’t see the directions.)

I discovered there is free wireless available on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center but not anywhere else.

I *did* learn some math teacher stuff but won’t bore you with the details.

I learned so much I am *definitely* going next year when it is in St. Louis.