This summer I had the opportunity to take a superintendent on a one day river trip with his wife. He was fairly new to the area, but managed one of the larger districts in southern Oregon. This gave us a fair amount to talk about and he seemed to be a pretty down to earth guy.  Or maybe it was just that they had a farm in the town so nice they named it twice and that I am partial to the Eastern Washington area having graduated from university over on that side of the state.

As the trip progressed obviously we talked some about education and schools.  What surprised me is this superintendent said for his administrator retreat he was taking them all to the coffee shop where they had reserved the space. I almost burst into laughter. I was like are you serious; he said yes. He went on to explain to me how he would struggle to justify to tax payers that the schools are still tight on money if he went prancing around with all the admin. to some luxurious or distant resort for multiple days. Needless to say this old gentleman won my heart; his wife was equally sweet.

Well to turn this all around in the Spring I applied to speak again at the NW Math Conference this year held in Whistler BC.  I asked the district prior to applying if they could help just a small amount and pay for 2 nights in the hotel with me covering the rest of the costs and in exchange bringing back the material to the school and district.  They said yes and to ask again beginning of year as the new fiscal year started July 1. Having just asked they denied the funds. What gets me more is they said yes then said no. (Maybe it was an evil plot to keep me in the district knowing I wouldn't move in Late August..though there was a pretty cool math coaching job open this summer locally). Unfortunately unlike the other superintendent the district didn't have funds for 2 nights in a hotel, but could afford to send all the admin. to Bend, Oregon for a multi day retreat.  Got to love Politics!

So much for getting to hear the speakers I've been wanting to see for a while now (I do use their stuff regular and wanted to hear their opinions with it how they use it etc.)...Andrew Stadel and Robert Kaplinsky.  My only hope now is that they keep showing up on Big Maker's Global Math Department.

And now I will have to write a sad email to the organizers of NW Math in Whistler letting them know and hopefully they didn't invest to much time into organizing already.


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