When I was growing up, my mom going to conferences for work was a love-hate situation. I hated it because the last time my dad tried to cook he didn’t realize you had to grease the pan for pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, the man can grill, but growing up vegetarian it was difficult when for a week at a time all we had were ribs and sausage. I loved it, though, because she always brought us back gifts.
I realized early on that the give-a-ways my mom was given were different than the ones my friend’s parents were brining home from their respective jobs. My mom teaches math, so she brought back rulers and stress balls. I have more triangle-high-lighters than I know what to do with. On her more legitimate excursions she came back with things like College Board backpacks. That’s another thing she does, she grades the BC Calculus and AP Statistics exams.
This past week, when I attended the first conference of my own, I just assumed everyone would be handing me stress balls and key chains that say “Divide your time equally between homework and fun!” or something else that similarly screams “please steel my lunch money” when put on a third graders College Board lunch box.
Instead, I received water bottles with a picture of my friends and I on it, and cool rapper sunglasses. It was definitely different than anything I have experienced, and I’m pretty happy that only one booth gave me a triangle-high-lighter.