Saturday, November 10, 2007

On SCTA's Dime

Stanford more or less required us to join the Student California Teachers Association because of the insurance they provide that covers incidents in the classroom. Who knew that I might get other benefits out of it? Last month I got an email about an SCTA conference in Newport Beach. Although there wasn't really any info as to what the conference would be about, I couldn't ignore the cost: the $25 registration fee would cover airfare to the O.C. and lodging at the Newport Beach Hyatt. So obviously I sen in my $25 check immediately.

The conference last weekend was everything I expected, but more posh. The Hyatt was incredible, with the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in, and a flat screen TV in our room for me to catch the Michigan State game (go blue!). The food was fantastic (fresh mango salad? Yes, please) and the swag was above average (who wouldn't want an SCTA tote bag?).

On Saturday night I met up with some friends who live in SoCal. We feasted on an amazing seafood dinner on the water, and then walked around the pier and the beach for the rest of the evening. It was the perfect weekend getaway.

Of course I learned a lot at the conference too. I learned about how useful the union is, how important it is that I get involved in the union, and about all the great things that the union does. Then they handed out some union propaganda and--no joke--the keynote speaker read a poem entitled "Are You an Active Member, or Do You Just Belong?" My friend Sarah and I spent most of our time passing notes about inappropriate questions we could ask during the diversity panel and whether Alfie Kohn and/or Gloria Ladson-Billings would approve of what the presenters were saying. One thing I actually learned is that I'm turning into a serious Stanford elitist.


Peter said...

Unions are good things. I'm surprised at how hostile many people in the US are toward unions. I like working here at the University of Auckland in part because the union is so strong.

Sometimes, some of the union sentiments can seem anachronistic. For example, my contract states that UoA is obligated to provide me with coffee or tea, plus milk and sugar to put in it, thrice daily. It's an odd thing to have in your contract, but it does make me feel oddly comforted to know it's there.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

LOL, Geetha, but I'm glad you had a get away.