Miss the first installment? Start here!
Due to the three hour time difference I was up at 4am local time. That would be sleeping in if I were at home! I caught up on some school work (a teacher's work is never done!) and took full advantage of the cable TV before wandering across the street for some more magic in a red cup. By that point it was time to meet back at the hotel for the buses to take us back to the Foundation for our big day!
Panoramic view of part of the Foundation. It was huge!
We arrived and were greeted by the incredibly friendly staff and a wonderful breakfast. Spinach and egg wraps with avocado, fresh fruit, and various pastries. And of course, coffee. I really got used to the readily available coffee at every turn! They gave us another hour to eat and visit. To teachers with a lunch of 20 minutes (this also includes a bathroom break and warming your food!) this was a huge luxury. In fact, we didn't know what to do with ourselves.
After that they herded us into the Atrium for the fireside chat with Melinda Gates. We quickly went in and grabbed front row seats on the couches. I mean, how often do you have this ind of opportunity?? Melinda and three teachers of the year (from Vermont, Wisconsin, and California) discussed collaboration, creativity, lack of time, and the negative impact of over-testing kids for about an hour. It was comforting to hear that teachers from every where face the same woes as those of us in North Carolina. Now, what to do about it?? The Gates Foundation had some thoughts!
April, Levi, me, and Sue
Heyyyyy, Melina Gates
We were then grouped and put into different rooms to give feedback on some projects they have been working on. To all my teacher friends, you know those gazillion different websites and tools we are constantly filtering through in an attempt to help our kids/make our lives easier? Well, the Gates Foundation is streamlining them all into one place! Some of the things they proposed were unnecessary while others were cutting edge. We spent hours (with an awesome lunch in between) in small focus groups offering feedback and just about every teacher in the room offered to continue to help with no further incentive. That's how exciting these news programs are!
Everything they feed us was super yummy, super healthy, and local!
That afternoon we gave input on using Social Media and who we turn to the most before we headed back to the hotel. April and I said goodbye to our new biffles and headed out to one of the top seafood restaurants in Seattle-Blueacre Seafood. It did not disappoint! I've not always been a huge fan of fish, but my sweet husband has encouraged me to try more and more and I am thankful he has because I now actually like it! We dined on a delicious three-course meal before embarking on an adventure to the original Starbucks. There was no way we were going to Seattle and not going to see it! Just like any city at night, Seattle was a bit scary. So after we got our pictures, souvenirs, and coffee we hurriedly headed back to the hotel to turn in.
Yummy grilled black cod
Visiting the Motherland!
Didn't get to see the market in action, but we got to wander past
I cannot think of enough adjectives to describe how wonderful this trip/opportunity it was. I am so thankful for this incredible experience!