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Report from the national council of teachers of English annual convention.

Managing the Institute's booth for the annual NCTE convention in New York City was a wonderful experience that not only promoted general semantics to English teachers, but also reminded me why I am excited to be a part of this organization. Jackie Parenti, Stacy Stockdale and I traveled to New York City in mid-November to staff the Institute's NCTE booth, but we came back to Texas with much more than we expected.

Stacy had been to national teacher conventions before, but Jackie and I had only manned booths for GS at college student activity fairs. We agreed that this conference had a great energy. The teachers who attended seemed eager to learn new teaching methods and were very open and receptive to learning new ideas.

Many teachers came to the convention to buy books and materials for their classrooms and to gather new lesson plan and activity ideas (along with having a good excuse to visit NYC). With so many book vendors and companies trying to pitch their products, people commented that the Institute's booth was unique in its presentation and content.

It was interesting to watch people skip over other booths and gravitate towards ours. The dark purple backdrop of the booth itself can be very eye-catching, but when you add a spinning Benham Disc, a pile of newly-designed brochures, and three energetic young women, you have a combination that not many English teachers wanted to pass up. We had fun explaining general semantics, handing out copies of ETC, selling t-shirts (one teacher even bought t-shirts for her entire department), and directing people to our new website full of information, teacher resources, publications for sale and (coming soon) online courses. Throughout the convention, we heard comments like "this is the most interesting booth here," "thank you for being here," and "this is the only booth worth visiting." A number of people also remarked that they were drawn to our booth because our youth and energy reminded them of their students; they wanted to see why these three young ladies would be so committed to something like general semantics.

Personally, manning the booth reinvigorated my love of general semantics. I explained what I could about its principles and history, how it has helped me, and how it could help in the classroom. Seeing the realization and excitement on the faces of the visiting teachers reminded me of why I was initially drawn to general semantics.

Although Stacy had been to New York City before, it was the first time for Jackie and me, so we did our fair share of sightseeing before and after the conference. NYC was amazing in every way, and the diversity and energy of the city was reflected everywhere we went. Stacy and I were fortunate enough to meet with anthropologist, author, curator of the American Museum of Natural History, and 2005 Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture speaker, Dr. Robert L. Carneiro.

Overall, I count the trip as a great success. Because of our booth at the trade show, we have new members, new contacts, new personal outlooks on GS, and hundreds of teachers who are equipped to begin weaving GS principles into their classrooms to a new generation of eager minds.



*Marisa Sleeter has worked in young adult outreach for the Institute since completing her Berman Scholar internship in August 2007. She graduated from Texas Christian University in May 2007.
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Author:Sleeter, Marisa
Publication:ETC.: A Review of General Semantics
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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Next Article:Dates and indexes.

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