Whew, I've caught my breath and am ready to comment on my TESOL experience! I'll start with a few practical comments:
First off, I really appreciated the before and after blog posts from Joe McVeigh at TESOL. When I attended two years ago, I had no clue about how big the convention was. It was a lark and I had a good time, but I could definitely have gotten more out of it with a bit of preparation. The posts were practical and many tips would hold for other conferences too:
Ten Tips to Get the Most from The Conference
What to do After the TESOL Conference
One thing that was personally helpful: I carried a travel mug and a couple of granola bars in my bag. I kept the mug full and could pull it out for a dose of caffeine whenever necessary. The granola bars supplemented a patchy food schedule. (I met up with the teachers in my group when I could, but just hated taking too much time away from the sessions!)
Another practical tip for future reference: wear sensible shoes. For the most part, my shoe choices were fine, but I saw others in very stylish footwear and I don't know how they managed! Maybe they had athletic shoes at the bottom of their bag for the longer sprints ...
Speaking of stylish shoes, here's a great song sung by Patti Cathcart (good for an ESL listening activity, too!):
I'm still mulling over my notes from the sessions. Hope to post some impressions soon ...