Recently, I just had an amazing learning experience at the Learning 2.010 Conference in Shanghai. I was the cohort facilitator for the librarians’ group. Not only did I meet 25 other librarians, but I learned tons from all of them. I’m so proud of being a librarian, and to be honest, I have to admit, we are generally pretty cool people!
Aside from the highlight of learning from all the libs at the conference, I also got to have many tweet-ups. A tweet-up is when you actually meet a virtual friend from Twitter in real life. A tweet-up is always very exciting–you basically know who you are going to meet before you actually physically meet them. It might sound odd, but imagine learning from someone over in New York City for example. Adrienne Michetti is one such person. She’s my VGF (virtual girl friend). We’ve never actually met, but when we do, it’s gonna be like we’ve known each other forever. We even have the same birthday! You can follow her on Twitter @amichetti, and be assured she will become your friend too.
Jeff Utecht is the charming fellow who invited me to Learning 2.010. I always enjoy meeting up with Jeff–he’s from the Kan, just like me, so we have an instant bond. You can follow him on Twitter @jutecht. Be assured you will learn from Jeff!
He’s in the picture below. But first, you need to know who took the picture: Kim Cofino. She’s another girlfriend that is always there for me. We’ve only had about 3-4 actual contact hours, but we’ve spent much more online. She’s there for me to chat at the drop of a hat. Really! I have questions, anxiety, vents to release, and she’s always there. I follow her on Twitter @mscofino. My other really good VGF like this is Tara Etheridge. On Twitter she’s known as @bookchica. She’s a fellow librarian, and we’ve determined we were probably very good friends in another life–even though in this life we’ve only had about the same contact time, 3-4 hours. We might have been sisters or princesses together. We definitely knew each other, and we had a fond love of shoes–even then!
Back to the tweet-ups. In this picture below taken by Kim, you will find from left to right @intrepidteacher, that’s really Jabiz Raisdana. His Twitter voice is much different than his audible voice. I was surprised to find how calm and gently humble he is in real life. I enjoy his gumption on Twitter, and he’s a very profound writer and thinker online. It was so nice to finally meet Jabiz. I always look forward to his tweets and posts.
Next to Jabiz is Melissa Griffin. She’s just brand new to Twitter (@lissgriffin), but she’s on it like a champ. She teaches with @chamada. There are some people you meet in real life, and no matter how hard you try they will always be their Twitter name. This goes for Clint Hamada. In my mind, he will always be ch-mada because of his Twitter name, @chamada. He’s a hoot! I really enjoyed meeting him. I also really enjoyed finally meeting Brian Lockwood (@BrianLockwood). He’s now a colleague in China, so I will be seeing more of him soon! Plus, Brian resides on Bainbridge Island, WA during the summer–that’s just a ferry’s ride from Seattle! I didn’t get a picture with Brian though.
Then, next to me is Jeff. He’s the one from Spokane, WA! And, he’s fulfilling a dream of mine: he and his wife purchased a condo in downtown Seattle. Yes! Lucky them! It’s gorgeous too.
Someone I finally met and had a blast with is Keri-Lee Beasley (@klbeasley). Not only is she gorgeous in person, but she is also really fun. We got into a fun ‘lil Kung Fu action. She was no match for me! Although, Keri-Lee does have the most beautiful voice; it’s to die for. She sang with the ukulele of new friend, Leslie Lindballe (@onepercentyello).
I also met a lovely new friend, Liz B. Davis. I hadn’t followed her on Twitter (@lizbdavis) till I met her, but I was so happy to know her. I was also happy to meet Tim Lauer (@timlauer) from Portland, Oregon and Alec Couros (@courosa) from Regina (pronounced like ragina), Canada. The four of us had such fun together! And, I learned tons from these three fine educators.
Finally, I have to write about the person I met who has the same colored eyes as me! Sarah K. Patterson.
It’s such a small world. Sarah knows Brian and Jen Krembs from working with them in Seoul, Korea. We follow each other on Twitter. Occasionally she reads my blogs. Well, we’d never met until this conference. Then, later, my sister Mary Margaret, writes to tell me she took an English class with Sarah in Seattle. It really is a small world. And, I do have to say, I’ve never met someone with the same colored eyes as myself. Sarah is really sweet, and since she is from the Northwest and friend with family, I know we’ll be meeting up again.
To finish this lengthly post, I’d just like to say how amazing I think social networks are. I have made connections with people all over the world. Many of them have been in real actual time, but some of them are made in this virtual world. Connections, in any capacity, are what is important. In the end, I don’t care how they are made. It was so nice to meet and continue to know all the tweeps mentioned in this post–plus the ones I may accidentally be missing!