Friday, March 23, 2007

A few random pictures

The Exhibit Hall, the lobby of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, and 5th Avenue in the rain (taken from the 14th floor of the Red Lion Hotel)


Dennis said...

Hi, Nina--and everyone.

The photo of the exhibit hall brought back memories of TESOL conventions that I've attended.

When I worked in ESL/EFL publishing, I helped out in "working a booth" and giving commercial presentations (for the long-defunct ELS publications); later, I worked as an editor-writer and helped my employer (Edwin T. Cornelius, Jr.) display and present the materials he had created. Still later, I was teaching again, and I made sure to see all the latest materials available from publishers. At one time, incidentally, there were a lot of small and mid-size ELT publishing houses; that was before the appearance of megacompanies like Pearson and Thomson.

Regarding materials, I also have good memories of TESOL's "Swap Shop"--a way of sharing (and collecting!) teacher-made materials. I remember that for several years, I prepared one or more descriptions of classroom materials and/or resources and left it/them at the "Swap Shop" desk at the beginning of the convention. Then toward the end of the conference, I joined other "Swap Shop" participants in collecting photocopies of other materials that had been submitted. I usually came back home with 100 or more pages of useful materials. Is the "Swap Shop" still available?

Ah, memories.

I can tell from all the blog entries that this has been an extra-special TESOL for the Webheads who attended. Thanks for making it possible for those of us who couldn't attend to share the excitement through use of this blog!

Dennis in Phoenix

Christopher said...

Great photos of great memories. You guys have no idea how great it is to finally meet you all in person!


Jane said...

I really enjoyed reading your reflections on the TESOL exhibit hall of yore...indeed, I remember ELS (and probably met you at some point or another). And after having lunch today with a friend from way back who has had numerous frustrations writing for one of the megacompanies, I've come to really appreciate writing for a comparatively small Quebec-owned company. (Les Éditions CEC)

I used to prepare materials for the Swap Shop too!


Dennis said...

Hi, Jane (and everyone).

Thanks for the kind words.

ELS. It still exists, but it's different now than it was when I worked for it (from 1973 to 1983): it was privately owned then, but is part of Berlitz now. Also, when I worked for ELS, it had several divisions--the language centers (U.S.), franchise operations (outside the U.S.), special programs (summer camps, etc.), a language lab company, and a publishing division (a holdover from a long-ago Collier-MacMillan-ELS venture). I worked first as a teacher in the long-defunct Norman, Oklahoma and Dallas, Texas ELS centers, then moved to the central offices (first in Santa Monica, then in Culver City, CA) in the curriculum department and publishing division, but was laid off in 1983. At that time, ELS was facing financial problems, and there was massive downsizing, particularly in the central offices: the number of divisions was reduced, and the language lab company and publishing divisions were sold. When I left ELS, I went to work for Ed Cornelius (an author and entrepreneur extraordinaire) in Oregon. I stayed there until 1990, when I moved to Phoenix. For a while, I did some freelance editing for ELS from Phoenix. I'm still in touch with a couple of people from my ELS days and also know that lots of people in ESL/EFL have ELS as part of their background.

Yes, it's entirely possible you and I met when I was with ELS. I was fortunate to meet many, many people during my ELS years, and I had another stroke of good fortune: ELS sent me (and two people from the language lab division) to Tianjin and Beijing, China in 1982--a time when there weren't very many "foreign ghosts" in the PRC.

It's interesting that you also prepared materials for the "Swap Shop" at TESOL!

I think we probably have several common intersections, Jane!

Best wishes--

Dennis in Phoenix

Jane said...

Here's another one: I taught in China in 1981--even before you! I taught at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai.

tom said...

Hi Nina...mind if I borrow one of the pictures?