“It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears…”
You get it, right? Small World. Disneyland. Anaheim.
Currently, I’m in Anaheim, but not in Disneyland. I’m here for an educational conference right across the street from Disneyland. And, the hotel (like all hotels in Anaheim) is chocked full of families with 2.5 kids dressed in either Mickey Mouse attire or princess dresses.
I’m up early because breakfast at the hotel begins at 6:30 a.m., and you know what? They’re up too. Children donning their Disneyland gear; adults wearing the ears; babies crying; children yelling, “Daddy, can I…?” or “Mommy, can I…?” I’m barely awake and slapped in the face with announcements like: “The water bottles are all filled.” Or, “Here’s the charger for the…” I couldn’t hear the rest.
This is a different world for me. I’m not a parent, but I understand the excitement about Disneyland. When I was a kid, I was hypnotized by the magic and wonder of Disneyland and star-struck to see the Castle, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Minnie Mouse. But as a kid, I did not pay any attention to the preparation for going to Disneyland.
Now my excitement is swelled in networking with fellow English teachers and becoming a lifelong professional learner. I got to the registration table at the conference, and my eyes grew wider when I saw books and free stuff!
“I’m so excited to be here,” I whispered. A woman in front of me turned and smiled.
“I heard that,” she said. “Me too.”
This. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is my Disneyland.
To be continued.