My 4 C’s for a 4 Hour Delay

Leaning against a pole at the Manchester (NH) Airport w/ laptop plugged in.

My NHASCD colleagues and I are chillin’ at the Manchester, NH Airport waiting for a flight to Dulles (in D.C.) and the ASCD Leader to Leader Conference. More on the conference later…when I actually arrive. In the meantime, what are some ways we can “enjoy” (endure?) the four hour delay, which may become even longer as I write this?:

  • Check out the people…I think educators are sociologists by nature. I know I enjoy seeing the interaction between family members, strangers riding solo, and the airline personnel dealing with passengers who are missing connecting flights and trying to solve their transportation issues. There are lessons to be learned and many parallels to family life I see daily in my role as a Principal.
  • CollaborateIt is a gift to have time with colleagues you’re traveling with. We’ve shared stories of success from the last year, plans for our state affiliate, even grant opportunities. Over dinner, I learned that one of my colleagues was a foster parent for many years and keeps in contact regularly with one of her foster kiddos she first knew in her 20s, more than 40 years ago.
  • Catch upClearly, my productivity increases with time waiting at the airport. I have to confess…there are times I have showed up early at an airport just to take advantage of the extra time to reach InBox Zero. Indeed, in the time I have sat here (currently leaning up against a pole, plugged into an outlet as my MacBook Pro had about 15 minutes of  juice left-see picture above) I have:
    • Reached InBox Zero, almost.
    • Reviewed 20 applications for a Title 1 teacher I need to hire.
    • Responded to some blog comments on this blog.
    • Sent out a few tweets based on articles I had saved in Pocket.
    • Ate dinner with my two colleagues (clearly the highlight).
    • Texted my wife and kids about my travails.
    • Solved a parent’s email troubles with our school listserv.
    • Got to InBox Zero in my Evernote program.
    • Played a couple of words on Words With Friends.
    • Sent out emails regarding our district PTA, a summer curriculum snafu, approved a posting of an open position, and helped solve a Google Calendar problem for a friend.
  • ContemplateAnother bonus of this delay is the gift of time. As my kids would say, my four hour delay is a First World Problem.  If my biggest issue today is having to wait in an airport, I have little to complain about. In fact, my 51 year old life is pretty splendid really. Great family, best job in the world, incredible wife, and an opportunity to check out the world, collaborate with friends, catch up, and contemplate.

By the way, as I hit “Send to Blog” my wait is closer to five hours. It’s fine.

One comment Add yours
  1. Bill, Thank you for this great post! What a positive, thoughtful, and helpful response to an unanticipated “time out of time” at the airport. Best of luck in getting to Washington!

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