Tech Dept Christmas Party and Zoo Lights

Tonight was our Tech Department’s Christmas party. Being in my new leadership role, this was the first time I organized a party as what my team affectionately (or not so affectionately) call me, “bosslady”.

It took awhile for the team, and the department as a whole, to warm up to the new changes. But I think the easy talk, laughing and general merriment tonight was a sign of how we’re grown. I am happy to be working with this crew, and I’m feeling a stronger sense of connection. We cracked up during the Dirty Santa game. I ended up with a pair of men’s size Star Wars boxers. I’m pretty sure I’ll be re-gifting those next year!

My little elf stole the evening with his cuteness. This will be my first year working the Christmas break since I started with the school district. I’m taking 2 days off work which will turn out to be 5 days off due to where Christmas lands. I’m so excited for some down time with my little guy, and with Match, though he doesn’t get to take any time off this year.

Last weekend we experienced the Oregon Zoo Lights. It was not the best night to go, since the weekend was crazy busy. But it was the only night we could go with Old Married Couple. I’m sad to say they’re moving back to California, now that they’re finally having a baby. I’m so happy for them, but I’m so sad we won’t get to have them close by, and watch their baby grow up. Sure we’ll visit, but I’m still really going to miss them.

Hoping you’re all enjoying the joys of the season, and not too much of the stress.

The Nerd Conference

This past week I had the privilege of attending an IT conference for K-12 technical support staff. It was with my favorite people at work, including my director.

This conference was full of oober nerds, and I definitely felt like I was with my people. The three days were filled with information sessions, some boring, some very interesting, and the nights were filled with drinking and networking with people. When I first arrived, I was handed a goodie bag that included a mini drone! I am showing my geek here, but let me tell you, it was super cool.

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I have to say it was the best conference I’ve ever attended. I connected with my director, and once again was encouraged that he has bigger hopes for me. With all the networking going on, there were even some job offers thrown my way, and at one point he even said, “you can’t take her, she’s my favorite!”

It felt so good to be appreciated. I am finally in a place in my life where I’m interested in my career again, and I’m passionate about it. While it was very hard to go back to work, now that Piglet is getting older, I feel like I’m allowed to have my own independent ambitions again. I hope to become Operations Manager for our school district someday, and my director wants the same for me. I also love that because I work for a school district, even in a management role, I will have a pretty good work/life balance. There were times at the conference where I was offered opportunities to go to the private sector, but I know that equals less time at home, and that’s just not something I’m willing to give up.

It wasn’t all just work-there was lots of play time in the evenings. I missed my boys at home, but I had a great time. Food and drinks were free, and it felt good to let loose a little. My work buddy and I had a blast with other techs from different districts.The first night we partied with my director, and the second night we partied with a director from a district up in Washington. There were drinks, dancing, and an awkward fumbling of a breathalyzer on my part. I feel closer to my team, and a part of something bigger. I can’t wait til next year’s conference!

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It was a great experience, and it’s going to be hard to go back to the reality of regular work. For a couple of days I felt like a minor celebrity, and now it’s time to go back to reality. But I gained some knowledge and connections, and I hope that it means some big changes in the next year.