Tomorrow the skies of the southwest (and the airline that bears their name) will transport me to TESOL 2013 in Dallas.  I am looking forward to the flight because:
1) I leave from our quiet, local airport in Burbank;
2) there's a short layover in Las Vegas, where the possibility of winning a small fortune at the video poker slots always lurks in the back of my mind; and
3) althought the total travel time is the same as going direct to NYC (6 hrs!), the time difference once I'm there is two hours rather than three.

I am anticipating that TESOL will feel quite different this year. The economic woes facing adult education across the US have made many publishers downsize their adult ESOL offerings and, unfortunately, this is the first year that many of the people I look forward to catching up with at the conference will not be there, (op. cit. economic woes).*  

Of course, every TESOL has an element of surprise. Last year, Pearson's booth-without-books was quite the controversy! Maybe this year Nat-Geo (National Geographic-Heinle Cengage) will do something special, green and cool.

I'll be ready! (And I am excited to see the colleagues who will there. This is often my first opportunity to meet my international students f2f!) 

Despite the pervasive E.W.s (see above) I firmly believe that we are soon going to have an immigration reform bill that will help reopen schools and inspire new programs-- but the big question for learners, instructors, and program administrators alike is "Who will be in charge?"  (I would have said it was the $64,000.00 question--but that number is far too low.) TESOL will be a place to hear more about this very issue--and I promise to share what I hear!

My plane flight will most likely be spent reviewing the slides for my academic sessions on Friday at 11 a.m. (Paired Reading with Lori Howard)  and Saturday at 10 a.m.  (Challenges of Online Teacher Education with Radmila Popovic). God help me, I love to tinker with a presentation that should be finished.  How many times do you think I changed the color scheme on this one?

In case you are interested in any of the materials from these sessions, they will go up on the Tools and Tips page of the website. And, in addition, I promise to scout out as many exciting, engaging and practical ideas as I can and put them up too!

And this year, instead of doing a full-fledged publisher-sponsored session, I'll be doing a walk through of the Oxford Picture Dictionary digital materials at the OUP booth (Thurs. and Fri at 1:15.) Those kinds of presentations are always a bit tricky:  will there be people there, or will I look as though I'm trying to sell Oxi-Clean to the passing throngs?

As a lark, I thought I would try my hand at tweeting during the conference.  If you want to follow me, just click https://twitter.com/lthrtdlrng.

And of course, if you see me at the conference and have read this blog--do come up and say hi! It would be lovely to meet my reader. :

*Yes, I do know this is not the correct usage of op. cit. but I just don't have that many opportunities to use it--and I love the way it sounds. Sort of the researcher's ipso facto, which is also quite lovely. And ibid--can't forget ibid!