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Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Curve Ball Leads to Fun and Fenway

     This past week was supposed to be one of the most influential in my development as a physical education teacher.  I would be with friends, professors, and past graduates soaking in as much as I can while making connections and networking.  I was attending the 105th AAHPERD National Convention and Exposition in Boston, MA. 
     For over a year I have been planning and preparing for this event.  On Tuesday the 13th I arrived at the hotel with my good friend Billy O'Hare, who I drove up with, and we checked in and headed to the convention center.  When we checked in we got our badge and our convention book filled with events, coupons, certificates, maps, anything we needed for our stay.  When we started walking around and exploring we were amazed at the facility, it was huge!  Each floor got more spectacular as we looked around, and we just kept saying to ourselves how perfect this place was for a PE venue this large, and how much fun we were going to have. 
     We headed back to our hotel to grab my car because we were picking up our friend, Nick Mangan, who graduated last year and was staying in our room.  Once we got Nick back and settled in, we headed for a bite to eat.  While on our way to a local restaurant we noticed thick black smoke bellowing our beyond a strip of buildings near the convention center.  When we headed over we saw what we thought was the local Hilton on fire, but as we asked around it was the building behind it, however the Hilton was all evacuated.  We didn't think much more of it and continued to go eat.  
     Just after we ordered our food and were getting settled in, the power in the restaurant cut off.  We were shocked, and still hungry, so we decided to leave after about 10 minutes of contemplation.  On our way back we bumped into Dr.  Couturier who was sitting in the convention center with all the other residents of the Hilton who were stranded for the time being.  
     The next day we woke up around 8 and we were told the conference was delayed until the following day.  By around 10, Dan Miller, a fellow sophomore and roommate with us, along with our last two roommates Chris Heim and Frank DiPasquale, were all checked in so we decided to go sight seeing.  The city of Boston is so much better than New York City in my opinion.  It's cleaner, less crowded, and the people around you just seem nicer.  It was also great to hear from Frank, Chris, and Nick about their experiences so far subbing, and how student teaching went.  Picking their brain about certain classes and aspects of PE was also really beneficial to Dan, Billy, and I as we tried soaking up as much information as we could.
     On Thursday we again woke up around 8, and again woke up to the conference being delayed, this time until around 11.  So, we all went for about a half hour jog around the city, which felt great to do since I hadn't done much physical activity in a few days.  When we got back, showered, and got dressed, we received a text from Elena Fallon our APEM president that the conference was canceled.  We were shocked.  Due to health code and safety issues the convention was canceled and we were getting refunded next week.  We were all pretty bummed.
    Then we thought about it.  Now what?  We have pretty much a free vacation in Boston with $30 a day to spend on food.  Then we started brainstorming.  The rest of the trip was filled with memories that will last me a lifetime including tours of Boston breweries as well as visit to the 100 year old Fenway Park.  That was really something else.  You can't really capture the history and feel of the park until you go there, and the views from all over were spectacular.  My favorite was the view from up on the Green Monster in left field.  It was an unreal experience and again, not one that I will soon forget.
     While the trip did not go exactly how we planned, there is no denying it was a great time and one that was still beneficial.  Picking the brains of Frank and Chris, as well as NASPE major of the year Nick Mangan, was a pretty solid backup plan once the convention was canceled.  They were more than helpful and friendly to a few undergrads who aspire to be them and I hope to repay the favor to undergrads when I am their age.

I got down and funky in Boston, time to head back to Cortland.

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