Precursor to Sponging- Energy of Motion

Sounds…unusual right? I wondered what most students felt entering a situation where they know, a heavy load of information was coming their way, and how they prepared for this? Sleep, rest, increased activity, dread? I, for one was a little of “All of the above.”

As the Energy of Motion Humanities Conference and Los Angeles, California loomed closer, I wondered about my Energy of Motion.

Was I INSANE for participating in a conference that I was still unsure what my effective contribution to the Delaware Humanities was and would be? It seemed those around me were more sure about my ability to contribute than I was, so that, and the fact that an intense schedule waited my destination all weighed on me: (Alot of running around grabbing papers, reorganizing documents, I could feel the pressure and nervousness building leading up to me departure preparation).

Checking on limits and allowances of bags, I was able to get all my packing to one backpack, one small computer carry on, and buried in the backpack a small on the shoulder bag for walking around. I was unsure what I would be able to carry on, but ending up checking the backpack for a minimal $75.00, and hoped the checked bag would not put my schedule out of whack when I arrived, it was a tight one.

November 8 2022 – Leave for BWI for a 9:59 PM flight on Spirit to Las Vegas, 7 hour-ish overlay (what the heck will I do for that long? – I KNOW, it is Las Vegas, but trust me, lady luck and me, no history at all)

-Plane Delayed to 9:40 PM – arrive at BWI- at 8:10 PM (Tuesday) – Boarding plane and have a 1 hour delay due to bad weather in Las Vegas, lift off finally after an hour, slept the whole time. OUT. Wondering how the time change will impact me.

Plane lifting off – arrive in Las Vegas

(EST around 1:30 AM – hunker down to catch up on much needed back log of emails, assigned work for my grad class, before I know it, 4 hours left to take off to LAX. Slept slept slept. Was able to mentally organize the way to get to my hotel area, and a set reservation for a library Botanical garden tour by 12:15 ON PAPER – we will see šŸ™‚ YES- I tried $5.00 on the slot machines, not anything to write home about, because nothing….:) Finally a food place opened and a grabbed a $12.00 chai latte and breakfast sandwich, first meal since I left the day before from my house- it carried me through – amazingly aok in that area – but we would see how that pans out.

I was still amazed at the airport with the backdrop of the Las Vegas valley/mountains in vierw of the incoming and departing planes, amazing amazing view.

Take off from LAS to head to LAX, leaving at 8:53 AM day (Wednesday) – again, sleeping and OUT like a light- no problem.

Arriving in LAX around 9:52 AM, inherently I knew I had to try and get to the Biltomore/Westin Hotel in LA before 12:15 noon, EST, for a tour I had managed to sign up for headed to the The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, (I had no real idea what this was) but I worried of course about checked bag retrieval, transit to a metro I did not know, transferring lines, etc.. – but I welcomed the light of Los Angeles as I arrived – a good sign? I thought so!

Checked bag came down the chute within half an hour, I asked an attendant where to catch the metro to the Green line ($7.80 by metro, $95.00 to $120.00 by taxi/Uber, etc, I was all about the metro!) – found the airport shuttle from LAX to what would be a destination to Willowbrook/RosaPark, ending the Green line, transfer to Blue Line, end at 7th Street/Metro Center-bam a BING! – and the hotel area and tour pickup, a 6 minute walk- hmmmm, this seems tooooo easy?

On the airport transit – a gentleman with a thick Russian/Ukranian/Slavian? accent asked me if this went to Washington Street – in my head I was….but wait! I looked down and there on my sheet,

yep- Washington! – I explained the need to transfer, etc and an individual nearby, who worked in some capacity- although he was tired, also helped confirm the directions I had were indeed, right on and believe it or not, it all matched.

We exited at the start of the Green Line metro, maneuvered getting a TAP metro card with a great 2 day rate of $3.80 for unlimited trips, and we caught the metro in the direction we needed to go – (manipulating the New York and DC. metro must have helped a ton!) A post thought, I never have regretted the experiences of taking a metro versus Uber/taxi/other. I know the reservations, danger, delays, etc but never have I ever failed to get the best sense of a city than through the metro- I LOVE public transportation and wish more people did as well. End of THAT speech šŸ™‚

We chatted and this poor guy told me about how he had missed his flight as he has missed confirmation of his Visa renewal, therefore missed his flight and now he as back in L.A (he has been here previously! He mentioned he thought this was bad luck as he had missed his flight, missed the email and was BACK in L.A. His original destination was Vancouver, Canada, but now he was thinking of heading to Yosemite National Park area to ward off what he felt was bad luck or an omen to head somewhere different. I loved the fact he was able to have choices despite his missed flight of where he was going and when, I want that choice too! All the while, we made it to his stop and I was arriving at my last stop. The next to last stop, an individual stepped on the metro, selling items, including a VERY large TASER he demonstrated.

My European friend and I discussed the areas in Mexico that were dangerous, were not, etc and the exiting metro sales entrepreneur mentioned more deaths in L.A. happened than in Mexico. This I believed was the case when I travelled to Chicago one year while I was housed in Mexico for a 6 year period, and yep, I missed Mexico alot.

Overall, my status of sleep/different in EST to California time was GREAT, a little tired but I would take it compared to what it could be, I felt lucky but alot of this “luck” was the openness and help of those around me as well. As I came off my exit at Metro Center, I easily used my Android phone to locate the nearest hotel I needed to get to, the Westin where our bus would be picking us up at 12:15 to head to the Huntington. I was able to check my backpack, at the concierge, even though this was just the hotel I was using for the tour pickup, and then planned to see how I fared after this whirlwind of arrival an flights, and transfers, to my hotel destination, the Biltmore.

Meeting Brett Connor from the CA Humanities was like welcoming me to a new country, I had made it through what seemed a myriad of obstacles and possible to go wrongs, and I was here. Relief swet over me. As I boarded the tour bus an met indivduals from the Humanities Councils from Hawaii and Vermont, and CT. I thought…

How can we as leaders, educators, individuals in our communities prep, prepare and support students for having and maintaining this “Energy of Motion” before events of anticipated storing of information? How can we ease them into a mode they are receptive for acquiring new informaton, without it simply being a ritual of waste that will disappear in say, a week or so, but personal, and meaningful? It seemed the personal nature of meeting individuals and having earnest conversations with others along the way, “sponging the details” that mattered to me as a learner along the way, was an answer appearing that allowed me to clear every obstacle I could think of before the adventure. I hope this would be the path forward for a destination I knew nothing about yet – and wow, was I surprised šŸ™‚

Also, the word Humanities. I had often heard conversations that people did not quite grasp the full meaning of what Humanities mean and mean to a community. the support the word can lend to areas such as Science, Math, Art, and in-depth opportunities, so I was interested to hear and find out what the expectation were of this word, on the view of students, educators, leaders, communities and more.

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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