Scenes from the ‘What the Academy Taught Us’ book launch (and the most memorable week ever)

Well, Ed Cases, I don’t think I can say I’ve had a Saturday-to-Saturday stretch anything like the one I had last week.

Going back two weeks ago (to 19 October), I was in Santiago, Chile, speaking at the first-ever researchED Chile. It was a typically great rED event, and I was able to spend good time with friends like Tom Bennett, Pedro de Bruyckere, David Didau, Ben Riley, and Martin Robinson–and make new ones, like Aptus’s Rodrigo Lopez and 1 World Schools’ Sunita Arora. Here’s a tweet someone sent out during my first talk (I spoke twice): rEDChile

During our time there, though, we had a bit of a scare–some protests boiled over into riots, and we found ourselves right in the middle of a tense national state of emergency. When driving through the heart of Santiago the previous Friday, as a matter of fact, we got a bit of a hint of what was to come. I took this pic of riot-geared police out the bus window, actually, in what must have been mere minutes/hours before things became violent. 20191018_152653

After the Saturday curfew, we made it to the airport Sunday to get our flights out. Fires like this one were being set closer to the airport santiagoairport, and scores of flights were canceled, but I was able to make it back toward the U.S. late Monday afternoon–and into MSP late Tuesday afternoon. Was back teaching by Wednesday. Whew.

I worked on adjusting for the next three days, then had a most special night on Saturday, 26 October: the launch party for my new book, What the Academy Taught Us. Held at Minneapolis’s fine La Dona Cerveceria (which is owned by Osseo Senior High grad–and one of my former football players–Sergio Manancero), it was like a most-treasured episode of “This is Your Education Life”. Several former students were in attendance, as were many of my one-time teaching colleagues from Osseo Senior High (and the Sophomore Academy, of the book’s titles). Here are some pics…

The Sophomore Academy Team, L to R: Gerry Zelenak, Kelly Skare-Klecker, Eric Kalenze, Eric Ruska, Jackie Trzynka
Sophomore Academy teachers, plus alumni, L to R: Andrew Tran, Kelly Skare-Klecker, Gerry Zelenak, Faith Mann, Eric Kalenze, Miranda Thune, Eric Ruska, Kendall Cross

The whole thing was even kicked off by our principal (and my mentor), Dr. Bob Perdaems: 20191026_183835I was able to launch with my parents and brother, my good friend and editor Lars Ostrom, plus dear friends from Minneapolis Public Schools, researchED, FIT Academy, and many many others. Some were even nice enough to tweet about it! 🙂

The interesting week didn’t stop there, though, as a bunch of my co-launching friends got me out to a karaoke bar. (But no, I didn’t do it. No way.)

Thanks, everyone, for such a special week. I’ll never forget it.



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