What goes on at the Ed Tech conference is NEVER going to stay at the Ed Tech Conference


February 22, 2016 by readlisaread

And so it was, beloved reader, that I found myself alone in the thriving metropolis of Richmond, attending my most favourite conference of the year, the BC Digital Learning Conference.  Several very cool convergences happened, in the people I ran into, the opportunities that reared their lovely heads by virtue of being in the right place at the right time, and in being reminded, in many ways of how my contributions to the community are noticed.  (Please note, it is not a sense of modesty that precludes me saying “valuable” contributions, for while some of them are, many are more…. of the infamous ilk).

Which brings us to the Legend of Clint Surry.  Before you settle in to listen to my tale, please note a much more erudite post on my Richmond Adventure resides here: In my companion blog, The Uncoordinated Coordinator.

Now, before you ask, this is an absolutely true story, and Clint is a real person, and the events unfolded in just the way I offer them to you today.  Let’s begin….

It was a mild day in late February, as I wandered along Westminster Highway, headed back to my hotel.  From the distance of at least a half block, I recognized the unmistakable sight of Clint Surry coming towards me.

“Clint Surry!”, I called out, and we greeted each other warmly in the middle of the sidewalk.  At the point of this telling, we had known each other perhaps half a dozen years, and had worked together on a couple of virtual projects, knew many of the same people and shared dozens of Twitter contacts. But it was always nice to catch up in person, and that was what we did.  Naturally, the conversation centred around technology, and in particular the apps I was going to feature in the talk I was going to give, which, as serendipity would have it, he was also going to attend.

Keeping in mind that this was the meeting of two nerds, it was not in the least surprising when Clint said “Oh hey, let me show you this neat app!” and preceded to describe this great little number that showed and recorded movement as a line graph, and how he had used it with his students to mock up an earthquake and find the epicenter. I, of course, am completely engrossed (although, engaged might be a more pertinent word choice) in the features of this app that he is now showing me on his smart phone.  Showing me, on the sidewalk, on his smartphone, at the street level, in order to record the traffic vibrations. On one knee.

It wasn’t until I became aware of cars slowing down, passersby looking over questioningly and quite probably the first song birds of spring circling our heads as we gazed at the tiny screen that I realized how this little tableau might look. With neither grace nor charm, but certainly with showmanship I straightened up, raised my arms and called out:

“It’s OKAY everyone!  He is NOT proposing marriage! I repeat, this is NOT a marriage proposal! Everyone JUST RELAX”.

I have received proposals of marriage before, but never have I seen a grown man get so rapidly to his feet and look so abjectly terrified and simultaneously highly amused by a rejection. After we recovered from our shared fit of laughter, we carried on our separate ways, agreeing we looked forward to laughing about this some more at the social hour that evening.

That hour, when it arrived, fast became the Clint Surry hour, as the tale of his accidental proposal spread like wildfire and the #LegendOfClintSurry was born.

My only regret was not taking out my own phone and snapping a picture. Then again…. maybe a photo wouldn’t do the memory justice. It was the talk of the rest of the conference, though…

1 comment »

  1. Clint says:


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