CADA Rocks!

14 Mar

CADA-Fari 2009 was one of the best conferences I have ever been to.  For those of you not familiar with CADA, it is the California Association of Directors of Activities.  Between the excellent general sessions, training seminars and the great opportunities for networking, it could not have gone better.

One of my favorite experiences at this seminar was seeing Tyler Durman speak and explain why “ASB sutdents are like BBQ chicken.”  His analogy was perfect, even the line, “then that makes junior high students like sushi,” made me laugh at it’s appropriateness. I have seen Tyler many times, and each time, it has been different.

The Drum Cafe’ was amazing with their high intensity rythms, engaging the crowd in a unified beat.  I’m sure many a person in the crowd was sore the next day from pounding on a drum for over an hour.  As for the drummers themselves, all very nice people.  I had a chance to talk to them after the show and they were very friendly.  Also, the calluses on their hands were incredible – definitely the sign of an experienced drummer.

Dan Stockdale had a little trouble on Thursday, though not entirely his fault.  He had to re-write his whole entire speech based on the fact that he could not have his tiger at the show.  If he had his tiger there, he would have done much better, you could tell he was off his game.  However, the other animals were neat, seeing the African Serval unfurl itself on the table; or the New Guinea Singing Dog howling with the audience; and it would be hard to forget the look on those brave volunteers faces as they realized they were holding a 60 pound snake.  A big thanks to the San Diego Zoo whose animal handlers were incredibly nice to work with.

Lastly, hard to forget Mike Smith who knocked his endnote right out of the park.  It would be hard to think of another speaker who did such a great job of closing out a convention.  He was right when he said that the impact we, as teachers make on a student’s life is incalculable.  By the way, the poem that Mike read so emphatically on stage was “It Couldn’t be Done” by Edgar Guest.  You can find it at

Lastly, the job done by Skipper Steve and Skipper in Training Matt was well done.  The video at the end was executed perfectly and the heartbeat was nice touch.  I often feel that way at school, as it is the ability to get to the heart that will help kids learn.  If a student can feel connected, either to the school or to a teacher, then I feel I am doing my job right.

Congratulations to Patty Judge for putting on a great convention.  Her hard work created a wonderful experience for the almost 1300 convention goesrs there  in San Diego.

As I end this blog, I would have to say I am very excited about CADA 2010, The Spirot of New Orleans.  It looks to be another great convention.


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