Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meeting a Tweeter in Real Life

So, back at the Learning 2.011 Teacher's Conference I went to in September I was persuaded to join twitter. Previously I had be anti-twitter and never going to join. I thought Facebook was enough and I saw no reason for twitter other than people to share TMI about their lives. I thought I can't believe people are so lonely that they need to tweet about their every thought, thing they did, etc. I was never going to join. But, at the conference I learned that as a teacher it could be useful. I decided to give it a try. Wow, it is awesome. I am gaining so much in the almost 2 months that I have been on. I am gaining new resources, lesson plans, ideas, etc. I am glad that I joined.  I started by following the people that I met at the conference but have expanded to others based on recommendations or commenting on a tweet when someone has re-tweeted it. I have been talking to other people and many of them now I have never met.

This last Friday I went to Singapore for a 5 day school holiday. A few people that I correspond with are currently in Singapore. One of them asked me how long I was in Singapore and asked if I wanted to get together for coffee/snack or something. I said sure. On Saturday afternoon I got an invitation for a housewarming party. She wasn't sure if it was awkward for our first meet up and neither was I, but I decided to go anyway. I was busy sightseeing and didn't have to be there until 8p.m. at the earliest. I kept sightseeing and planned to have a normal dinner time and then go back to my hotel room and maybe freshen up a bit as there were going to be a few other people there. Well, the place I want to eat didn't start serving the food I wanted until after 6:30p.m. and it was only 6:00, so I decided to walk back to another restaurant closer to my hotel room. By the time I had dinner and walked back to my hotel room it was after 8p.m. What to do? I was very tired from all the walking and probably had perspired some with the heat and humidity. I didn't have any spare clothes to change into. Didn't know that I wanted to shower and put my same clothes back on. I didn't think I wanted to wash my face and put on fresh make up only to sweat it off or have to wash my face again in an hour. With my pale skin I get red easily so washing my face in hot water to get all the makeup off would have made my face red while there. Plus, if I showered it would probably relax me enough I would just crawl into the hotel bed and sleep. I decided I smelled fine, my deodorant was working well. My clothes looked ok and my makeup looked fine. I was only going to drop in for a few minutes and it was only going to be a small handful of people. Plus, even though I am not very shy anymore with a group of people I would find my corner to sit in and observe everyone else after saying hello to my twitter friend. I was nervous meeting someone I had only met online. What if in person I wasn't liked or did not turn out like the impression I have given. I kind of felt like I was going on a blind date. Not that I was interested in a romantic relationship or anything, but other than blind dates I have never met anyone first online and then in person, so I didn't know what else to compare it to. I tried to think positive that this meet up might be beneficial in ways I couldn't even know right now. Twitter has turned out to be beneficial and I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. So, I headed out the door again to get a cab.

I got to her place about 9p.m. and went up the elevator. As soon as the doors opened I could hear all the people talking. Uh oh, this sounds like a huge party. I go around the corner and see all the shoes in the hall all the way to the door of the apartment next door and all the way across to the other wall. Surely, this can't be the little housewarming party I was invited to, so I go the other way and look at the numbers on the doors. Nope, none of them are the right one, so I go back. I think I could just leave and no one would ever know I came. I should have showered. I should have brought spare clothes or got a new outfit. There is going to be a ton of people. Maybe I can still find a corner. Finally, I slip off my tennis shoes and go up to the door and ring the bell. I stand there hoping that no one heard over the noise of people talking, but within a minute the door opens and I am warmly greeted. I walk into a crowded hall and think, look at all these people. They are dressed nice and all look beautiful. My twitter friend looks nothing like her little picture. If I had seen her on the street I would not have known it was her. What was I thinking coming here? I was given a choice of a drink and I chose water because I had done tons and tons of walking but hadn't had enough water to drink. I was introduced to a few people and then was in the hallway talking to these people. The door opened a few minutes later and more people poured in. I held the door open so it wouldn't hit me and greet them. A couple of the ladies thought I was the sister of the host. I was like no, actually tonight was the first time we have met in person but we have been talking on twitter. I stayed in the hallway talking to people as they came in. Some of them asked me about me, as people moved farther in I stayed where I was and joined on the fringes of other groups and listened to the conversations and joined in if I had something to contribute. Not really in the corner but close enough. Then my twitter friend came back and had me come farther in and introduced me to other people. I talked with one group for a while and then joined another group. It was hard to hear and understand when others were talking to me. I have good hearing but I have a hard time in a crowded room singling out what is being said to me. I am constantly picking up on other conversations and missing what is being said to me or asked of me. Also, with the accents I still really struggle until I get to really know a person well. These are just a few reason why I like one on one compared to a large group. I think I did ok though. Finally, my feet and legs could not stand standing any more. I know that I walked miles and standing in my bare feet on a hard floor made them hurt. The only time I had sat all day was for dinner. I went straight from breakfast to dinner walking/sightseeing. I wanted to sit on the floor but it was too crowded and I knew if I sat down then that would be the end for me and sleep would be a short ways off. Plus, I was tired. So, I decided to call it a night. My twitter friend offer to call a cab for me but couldn't find her phone. She had to have someone else call it so it would ring. We finally found it and a cab was secured for me. I left a few minutes after that to be able to get out through the people, put my shoes on and go down the elevator to get outside before the cab showed up.

If I could do it over I would have brought a spare outfit that was nice but not too fancy. I would have stopped sightseeing earlier and had dinner earlier so I could have showered and changed. I would have had more water to drink so I could have had a drink. I knew that if my family knew about this they would have been proud that I went out on a limb (for me) and gone to this party with no one I knew in person. My brother would have been all about the networking. My Mother would have been horrified that I didn't freshen up before I went and if I tell her about it I am sure she will tell me what I should have done better. But anyway that is my first meet up with a new twitter friend.

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