GATE Conference, Pasadena, December 17th: Creativity, Box Lunches, and the Mandalorian Manicure

Seriously, i almost didn't have to mess with this. The conference slogan was "Preserving Creativity: Not an Option."

When I hear the phrase, “Preserving Creativity: Not an Option,” I read the slogan as one that states, “You don’t have the option to preserve creativity.” To wit, it seems to support getting rid of any creativity we might find, wherever we might find it. When this was the slogan of the GATE convention in Pasadena, I was confused.

Was it a Bizarro conference, where everything would be backwards? Should I get credit for attending by leaving, then?

Or, perhaps they didn’t consult an English teacher? Worse…what if they had, and still got that?

The format was okay, with various speakers in various rooms at the convention center. A few of the speakers were quite good, a few were “Empty Suits”…kind of what you expect. Lunch was a box lunch, that actually was quite good.

Our science teachers disappeared during lunch. At first we didn’t reall think anything of it. Then the question came up…”Can we have more thn one box lunch?” Followed closely by, “Where is that dessert they said was coming?” This caused us to go on a food expedition…myself, our remaining science teacher, and a math teacher.

Somewhere along the way, we decided that the Science Clones must have been abducted by Jawas. This caused us to walk through the educational goods expo periodically shouting, “UTINNI!” in the language of the Jawas. We lost track of our math teacher, who literally was mesmerized by an old woman selling Rubik’s Cubes.

We extricated him before he bought a hundred dollars of the Hungarian math puzzles. After finally getting the brownies we searched for, we encountered the Science Clones. It turned out that they had departed to go get Manicures during the extended lunch, and that no jawas were involved at all.

The final class of the day was “The Science of Superheroes.” My whole group pretty much attended, and we discussed at some length, the ineffectiveness of attempting to save a falling girlfriend by zipping a web line to her ankle. This is called “The Gwen Stacey Effect.”

All in all, a decent day, even if I wasn’t punching dolphins in the mouth, or yelling at whales.

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