Running into one of your favorite English language researcher, author, or publisher at TESOL is similar to experiencing an earthquake for the first time! You feel as if this couldn’t be happening. What should you do? Your heart starts pounding! Should you ask them for an autograph? Do you allow yourself to check out their accessories? Or do you just eavesdrop?
At my first TESOL event in Vancouver (1992), I ended up in the elevator with Carolyn Graham, singer and songwriter of the Jazz Chants series. I was thrilled! I’m 5’10 and she was taller than me. She was regally dressed and carried herself as royalty. I think all I did was say hello. Nowadays, her voice fills my head when I think of California: “The coast of California is a beautiful site. Tall trees, tall trees, big tall trees!”
The other TESOL “rock star” that I encountered had the presence of a regular guy. I went to hear Dr. Stephen Krashen speak. He’s not a musician, but he’s still rocks! I’ve been a big fan of his research since my MA TESOL studies of his theories on language acquisition. After I heard him speak, I left and went to the airport. Then I saw him at the airport bar. I wouldn’t have recognized him if I hadn’t just seen him speak. This time around, I was braver and went to talk to him. He was very cordial.
So tell me who your TESOL “rock stars” are. I’d love to hear about any encounters past or present. Maybe we could arrange a “swarm” using Twitter and all converge on your ELL idol sightings during the conference. I thought that I would blog about something humorous this time, since my last post was so serious. Next post will be serious again, I promise!
Your Convention Blogger,
Sandra Annette Rogers