2015 was a a strange year because, for the first time in 23 years, I had no formal classes to attend. As a result, I had some "free time" which was quickly scooped up by a myriad of other projects. The year started humbly in the dead of winter, continued as I trained for the half marathon, only to be later sidelined by a broken toe. I helped organize an EdCamp event, started TEDxBaldwinHighSchool with the help of some colleagues, and got to experience the "behind-the-scenes" side of prom, senior awards, and graduation. I was able to see students rise to the occasion with a Lip Dub and Flash Mob (trivial perhaps in the long run but symbolic of how much students can do when they ultimately try). Around the same time, my grandfather passed away which, while it ultimately brought a much-needed end to his illness, was more difficult than I had anticipated. Needless to say, April and May 2015 will always be some of the most rewarding, challenging, memorable months to date.
The summer was relatively calm, which was a surprise considering that I had originally assumed it would be one of my crowning professional achievements as I was invited to speak at the ISTE conference. While the trip was enjoyable and I was glad to experience it, ISTE also made me realize that EdTech and conference presentations weren't really a game I felt like playing anymore...at least for a while. I had reached the "top" of the EdTech conference hierarchy and saw that while it was fun to meet with people and take a trip, there wasn't much new being discussed...and even less that could be taken home and used in the classroom. Summer continued with some excellent memories from the Pirates, and my first attempt at a LEGO camp at Baldwin, which was a great deal of fun for the children and parents alike.
Fall was all Homecoming and Philadelphia Marathon training as the Pirates snuck out of the playoffs way too early. Back to the Future Day came and went, and Star Wars returned us all to a galaxy far far away. Looking at the year as a whole, it's really been all over the place. For a the first time, I wasn't traveling up a predetermined ladder; I felt I was rather making the best experience with the people and possibilities around me. Looking for to 2016, I'm not sure what to expect. I'll be perfectly content with more of the same; though every year has an element of surprise to it. 2016 promises to the best shortest year yet..though hopefully just as memorable as what we now leave behind.