TMC 14 – Feeling Connected At Last

Last week I attended Twitter Math Camp 2014 in Jenks, Oklahoma.  I have so much that I need to process and think about.  Later this week I will blog about some of the content that I learned, but today I wanted to focus mainly on my emotional reaction to participating in this conference.

On Thursday morning, in the Group Work Working Group morning session, I introduced myself as a TwitterBlogStalker. I follow about 30 blogs, and occasionally comment. I started a blog in August after learning about #MTBoS from Bob Lochel and have since posted a grand total of 17 times. I very occassionally participate in a twitter math chat.  I basically feel as though I have leeched off the MathTwitterBlogoSphere.  I’ve gained much from it, but have contributed little. Dan Meyer said that it’s okay to be “Selfish” about how I participate in the MathTwitterBlogoSphere. I do think that I have been selfish, but I feel anything but good about it.

I went into the conference knowing a whole lot about a group of people who know practically nothing about me.  That didn’t change much over the course of the week.  When I meet people, I am great at getting them to tell me all about themselves and all of their best ideas. I am usually one of the quietest voices at the table. So even though some of my MTBoS idols know my name now, I still know a whole lot more about them than they know about me.

For me it’s not the same anymore, though, because I care about them as people now.  I found myself checking Twitter in the airports and even at 12:30 am because I was concerned about whether or not Jamie, Elizabeth, Kelly had made it home okay.  On my flight from Fort Worth to Salt Lake City, I was telling the two women I was sitting between about how concerned I was about the storm in Detroit and the lightening in Las Vegas.  I cared about them because I knew who they were. I wanted to be on twitter.  And when I saw this post reflecting about inadequacies, I wanted to write a blog post to respond to it because I knew that 160 characters wouldn’t be enough.  TMC14 has helped me to move out of the realm of TwitterBlogStalking and into the world of participating and contributing.


I laughed at this slide in the My Favorites presentation and I even snapped a picture, but I shrugged off the idea, because it’s not really something I feel comfortable with.  But I’m reconsidering it now because of my experience at TMC.  By the end of the year, I have a great relationship with my students and we have a lot of fun together, but it takes a while for that to happen because I’m a quiet person on first acquaintance.  But I think I need to start brainstorming ways to speed up the process.  Because sometimes all it takes being able to see someone as a real person to make a task like blogging or tweeting become less of a chore and more of a pleasure.

Finally, I wanted to take just a moment to respond to this very reflective and honest post about inadequacies.  This poem came to my mind like a gift in high school. I have clung to it ever since, especially when I feel small in comparison with those surrounding me.


Pity the mistaken orange tree
who wishes to give apples,
Whose existence is spent becoming
something it never can be.


6 thoughts on “TMC 14 – Feeling Connected At Last

  1. Amy Fine (@AFineGal)

    I loved meeting you in the GWWG, but I actually thought about how I felt like I didn’t know that much about you after I left! I hope you will blog more. I’d love to get to know you better! I am going to start trying to blog and getting involved more, as well. TMC changes SOOOOO much.

  2. cheesemonkeysf

    Thank you for this post and for the poem. I loved working with you in the Group Work Working Group, and I am excited that you are going to branch out and start blogging more!

    – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

  3. rdkpickle

    Thank you so much for this wonderful, genuine post. I can’t wait to get to know more about you, and learn from your journey.

    ❤ rachel (@rdkpickle)

  4. Kathryn

    Gosh, I don’t think we even met at TMC. What a shame because I think we’ve got some things in common. Your comment about it taking a long time for the students to get to know you really resonated with me. I tend to be more worried about getting down to business in class and I don’t share that much. I had a similar reaction to John’s presentation, thinking I should maybe do it but it’s out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I’ll have 30 facts, but I’ll put together some. Thanks for sharing!

    1. msmooremath Post author

      I didn’t even know you were at TMC, but I’ve been following your blog for a while. What a shame. Maybe next year. While I was at TMC, I was pretty shy about going up and introducing myself to the people I’ve been blogstalking for a while. I sort of felt like a teenage girl approaching Justin Bieber for an autograph, or something. 🙂 I am working on my ‘I’m so awesome’ presentation. I’ll share it on my blog after I’ve given it to my students. You’ll have to let me how yours goes if you do it too.


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