2012 AAHPERD National Convention…Review?

During this semester of student teaching, I had the opportunity of enrolling in a class called “National Issues in Physical Education”, which focused on assignments from the AAHPERD National Convention.  This class was in lieu of taking a weekly course at Adelphi, and I was gladly took the opportunity to plan for a trip to Boston to experience the national convention.

While I’ll discuss my other experiences in Boston in upcoming posts, I’d like to quickly explain the happenings of the National Convention, or lack there of.  As of Friday morning at 12am, the Convention is cancelled due to health and safety issues.  Apparently there have been more fires and explosions in Boston this week than since the Battle of Bunker Hill.

On Saturday, there was a two-alarm brush fire in The Fens:

Then, on Tuesday afternoon, around 4pm, a fire wrecked havoc on the bar TC’s Lounge.  Shortly after, at 6:30pm, a 115,000-volt transform exploded/burst into flames at an NSTAR substation at 40 Dalton Street, sending black smoke billowing into the sky.  The hotel I was staying at was 39 Dalton Street, but I was a few blocks away, walking into a gym.  Typical.

The three-alarm emergency caused massive power outrages throughout the city, and a total of 21,000 NStar customers were left in the dark.  48 hours later, the Sheraton Hotel and Hynes Convention Center are still running on limited power via emergency generators.  Check out this news clip from CBS:

Yikes.  That makes the exploding manhole covers on Thursday look tame.  As city officials, energy service people, and event administrators worked hard in response to the situation, events for Wednesday were cancelled and events for Thursday were rescheduled as best as possible.  The events that I did get to see included a 4 hour workshop on Relationship Abuse prevention, the NASPE general business meeting, several rescheduled keynote-speaker presentations, and an impromptu elementary PE.  I was also glad to see three of my classmates win awards:  Christina Cobucci and Sheldon Sucre won Major of the Year awards from Adelphi University, and Kristina Cavallo won the Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship.  Congratulations!

If there was one thing I picked up from the events, both planned and unplanned, in Boston, it was that adaptations and modifications are key.  It’s essential to be able to think on the fly and make changes when necessary, to ensure the best experience possible.  This includes while teaching, while training people, or even in daily activities.

Here’s an example:  Instead of rolling out of town right away since the convention is cancelled, I’m going to head over to Charlestown to rob a bank see the Bunker Hill Monument and the USS Constitution.  While I do that, here’s the trailer for The Town:

While the circumstances were unforeseeable, it’s disappointing that I was unable to have a ‘complete’ convention experience.  I’m looking forward to the 2013 event in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I’ve already downloaded the ‘Call for Proposals’ paperwork out of curiosity.  One of the nice things about planning for the 2012 event, which I hope they repeat next year, was the convention app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.  It was full of scheduling, planning, and social networking options, and I found it really helpful to plan my schedule and stay up to date with announcements.  Here’s the menu:

It was a nifty little app, and I encouraged several of my classmates to use it.  Hopefully the NSCA tries this out at the national convention in July!  If you’re heading to an event for a large professional organization, I’d suggest looking into any technology they’re offering for the event, as it certainly helps.  In Charlotte, things should go smoother, but I’m quiet excited to have spent a week in Boston; I’m looking forward to returning.  Now off to Bunker Hill.

Update:  According to the Boston Herald, all power was restored this morning.

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