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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Augusta, Maine - Assistant Principal's Conference

First real drive with Jurgen – to Augusta, Maine, a good two-hour drive from home. Smooth sailing, er driving, the whole way. Listened to a good book – The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connolly. Got to Augusta and found the Maine Principal’s Association offices fine. Went in, found Jeff Sturgis, who had booked me and found that the current talk was almost done.

I set about folding brochures I’d printed before I’d left home, then as people filed out of the room, followed Jeff in to set up my laptop and get ready for my talk, which would happen after lunch.

The room was full, over 80 assistant principals from throughout Maine, and a few law enforcement officers. I talked mainly about cyberbullying, predators and social networking sites like Myspace.com.

I had done a search on Myspace for York High School, as I couldn’t find an Augusta High School, and did screenshots from the results I’d found, choosing a boy and girl who had put too much info in their profiles, showing how anyone can access profiles not marked private.

Afterwards, got some good questions and a Lewiston cop asked if one type of teen had Myspace accounts. It was pretty funny, several people in the audience loudly said no. I told him that if he meant kids who were depressed or caused problems, no. I saw all kinds of kids – popular ones, loners, goth, dorks, - every kind of teen you can imagine.

I also was asked by one man if I felt an ethical duty to contact the parents of the two students I’d profiled that their children had too much information in their profiles. I told him no, because if I spent my time going through *every* high school student’s profiles to find out who had too much information and contact their parents, then I wouldn’t be doing anything else. I told him my purpose was to educate them, the audience, on how to look for this info and take it from there. If they felt they had to contact a parent, fine, but I advised them to talk to the student first and explain why too much information was not a good thing.

Hey, if someone wants to pay me to “police” Myspace.com, please contact me. But until then, it’s not my job, ethically or not. My job is to educate and spread and the word. I love it when people get all high and mighty and try to turn my good work into something bad. Pfft.

I sold all the books I had with me, got a lot of requests about speaking at their school and left loads of business cards with people.

I packed up my things and headed home. Smooth driving again.

Chris had to deal with the sewer guys all day. That will have to be another post. And probably a long one.

I had to get ready for my next trip to Topeka, Kansas. I was going to be keynote speaker as well as giving a 1.5 hour workshop. I was leaving early Monday for that, so I was rushing around, buying last minute clothes, underwear, girl stuff. Did some laundry. Rented King Kong (Peter Jackson’s version). What a disappointment. After LOTR, my expectations had been enormously high. The movie was long, too long, and didn’t get exciting until the island where Kong was from and NYC. Even then, it wasn’t as good as all the hype.

More soon about the wonderful sewer district and my trip to Topeka.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Debbie said...

Glad to hear Jurgen is treating you well!

What is it with the "only the bad kids" or "not in my neighborhood" attitudes? or worse..."You should solve the problem for us". Watched a group of our "never in this town", "nice" kids looking for trouble online (at the library) today. They had two at the computer and two standing guard and blocking the view.

And...amazing how travel equals wardrobe! I've been shopping for the PTG Convention. Grown-up clothes like a couple dresses, new shoes, and now I've got to find a dress purse that I may actually be able to use again sometime. And...why do we find it necessary to have new undies?

4/08/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger JAH said...

I couldn't find a new suit or dress to wear that I liked. So it was all "girly" stuff - undies, pantyhose, socks, etc. I've been having a hard time finding a suit or dress that I like.

4/09/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Since the expense of the PTG Convention is all mine (although eventually tax deductible), I've been trying to keep the *optional* costs low! Looked everywhere for inexpensive dresses. Couldn't find anything, just skirts, and I don't do well with skirts. Finally gave up and went to Macy's. Hooray! Two dresses, on sale. So, for about $120, I walked out with the two dresses, and a dressy blouse and slacks. Not bad. Could've bought more but my checkbook would have been screaming.

4/09/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger JAH said...

I forgot to mention that because one of the wheels on my carry on was out of whack, I decided to get new luggage. I went to the Coach factory outlet and got a new rolling carryon and weekender tote. It was more than I've ever spent on luggage before, but it's good quality, sturdy and a business expense. I got many compliments on it on the trip to and from Topeka.

4/09/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Okay, just quit with the coincidence! The only decent luggage that I had was a rolling carry-on that would be too big for this trip. So...bought a new, smaller, rolling bag. I don't do anywhere near the traveling that you do so quality wasn't a particular interest (does seem to be quite sturdy, though). Anyway, half price at $49.99, had my choice of colors - black (would be my normal choice), red, biege, purple, brown, or a really ugly lime/apple green. You guessed it-decided to go for ugly green! Figure no one else would ever pick this color, so it will be easy to spot! Amanda was appalled and wouldn't go to the check out with me.

4/09/2006 10:02:00 AM  

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