Whoa. Like Whoa. My #TMC14 Transformation
Upon returning from Twitter Math Camp 2014 I felt like this:
I didn’t really know how to process it. I couldn’t compare my experience to another TMC because this was my first. As the weeks approached, I felt a little like a the slow crescendo.
I arrived late with John Stevens, Mrs. Stevens, and Sadie Estrella late the night before the big event. We had great conversation and got to sleep a few hours after midnight, just a few hours before needing to be up for the big show at Jenks High School. Around 7am, we start seeing faces. For some this is a long awaited reunion, and for others this is a first encounter. No matter the previous experience, everyone seemed to be feeling like this as twitter handles turned into real life:
In some ways I didn’t truly understand what was happening around me. I’ve felt like the outlier in my incessant passion for math and learning. Our backgrounds were varied, the common ground of interests kept us bouncing from one conversation to the next.
Then we get to the facility.
It just kept escalating. Then start our morning sessions. This was a pleasant twist on conference workshops. Being able to meet for a few hours each morning over multiple days allowed us to truly develop a deeper insight into some specific math content, and package that understanding into something we could take home with us. It’s not really possible to do this at another conference. TMC keeps a good balance of meeting the masses, while supporting conversations in smaller communities. This is what makes it so special. I have heard some worries about TMC losing value as it grows, but as long as we have groups like the morning sessions in which we can have the intimacy and depth of relationship TMC will still maintain its appeal for me.
Then I get to be in a session with Pershan on complex numbers and geometric rotations. His craft as a teacher is what impressed me most. He let us work through some material in small groups, and guided us in the classic, “I’m going to pretend like I don’t know where this will end up.” Then another whoa.
Every night I would fall asleep exhausted from the constant mind blowing experiences. My awesome roommate, Chris Shore, was able to help me remember this experience.
— Chris Shore (@MathProjects) July 27, 2014
Occasionally I may have had a moment where the rise and fall seemed less impacting relative to other extreme moments at the conference,
but the bumps kept coming.
Then I return home, work for a couple of days and then off to more conferences. Only now is TMC truly starting to settle for me. This conference has transformed me, and only now am I able to process the experience. As this rollercoaster feeling diminishes, I’m seeing how the conference is having direct effect in my professional and personal life. Only 350ish days until we do this again.
to be continued…..
(I plan to follow up this post with another soon on how I plan to incorporate TMC into my work and that of my colleagues as well.)