What do these three things have in common, you ask? A random cluster fluff of weird words all mushed together? Well, I’m glad you did.
The thistles and the armadillos represent Glasgow, the city in which the conference is held this year. A city that is full of life (even without a conference of 2,500 people) and fun, of shopping and of pubs.
But what about the pink trainers? Don’t worry, there is no building in Glasgow that is in the form of trainers nor any that is painted pink – there are no pink busses in sight either, just to be clear and take away the fear of a few British politicians concerning female Prime Ministers.
Trainers are typically used in situations in which you do not want your feet to hurt. (Prime examples here are shopping, sports and conferences). A conference is no fun if you can’t enjoy it because you have to sit down every five minutes. And because pink just so happens to be the colour that I have chosen my trainers to be in, those ominous pink trainers actually refer to me! (Who would have guessed?)
Hiya, I’m Alex, I am going to the IATEFL conference in Glasgow this year, and I am going to be your host for tonight. Today. Whenever you read it. Hi! (That’s me on the right side, by the way.)
So – what do I personally expect from this conference?
Blisters. Loads and loads of blisters to start off with. And if not from running from one conference room to the other then from exploring the beautiful city that is Glasgow, enjoying its culture and food, its pubs and its people. And just maybe also its shopping facilities. Because when in Glasgow – go shopping. That’s what they say, no? (But do not worry – preventative measures have been taken already. I have bought enough blistering plasters to last me a lifetime, so I should be fine.)
But what’s more important from an educational perspective – and most definitely more enjoyable than the blisters – I expect to make loads of new friends and to meet loads of colleagues from around the world. One possibility, for example, is the International Quiz, in which I want to take part in and where my competitive nature will come up. For me it’s all fun and games until winning is involved – then it’s going to be do or die. And as you know, all is fair in love and war. Beware the Alex during quizzes, peeps, trust me. It’s for your own safety.
I also expect to make great new experiences with English as a foreign language and to get insights and new ways of thinking that are completely new to me. I love didactics and thinking of all the methods that I could do in class with my future students. (One workshop that should be especially useful is the one on how to shorten your texts. I am not good at writing short texts. Example number 1 – this introduction.)
So plenty of things to look forward to and I am already extremely excited to see how my expectations are going to be met during the conference!