Goin’ Back To Miami

Wednesday, November 2, 7pm

…goin back to my girl”

Actually, my girl(s) are back in San Francisco. I had to fly to Miami yesterday (11/01/05) to attend an education conference put on by the National Academy Foundation.

I’m designing an academy at my high school that they are sponsoring. They are a part of a nation-wide education reform group, that pushes the small schools concept. I teach at a school that has four small schools in 11th and 12th grade that the kids can choose from. They include: CAST (a creative/performing arts academy), International (for kids fresh off the boat, so to speak), WALC (Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collective), and Law (I’m in this one. I teach a constitutional law class). None of these are sponsored by NAF. I am however beginning a NAF academy with an informational technology focus (AOIT).

This is what brings me to Miami.

NAF holds a number of conferences a year, across the country. They sponsor about 1000 academies in over 700 schools in the US. I was in San Diego for their annual summer leardership conference last July.

the meetings here are focused around groups, like mine, that are engaged in the year of planning. We plan this year, we implement next year.

I haven’t been to Miami since 1993, when I moved to the Virgin Islands for a mere four months of continuous bordem. Actually, the only real thing I did in Miami was fly out of their airport. I drove across the country with my friend Conrad (who I think I still owe $500 to. Sorry Conrad.), for three weeks. We did radio at KFJC together. We zig-zagged all over the place. It was an amazing trip. I encouraged all 20-somethings to do a road trip across the country at least once, before they get on with life.

We went to Vegas for three days and saw the Grateful Dead. Sting opened for them. By then, they pretty much sucked live, but I still love them. We drove up to Mt. Rushmore, and across South Dakota. We even went to Wall Drug. We ended up staying with his mom in a very small town in Minnisota for five days while our jeep was being fixed. he went to the same school for all 13 years. We were both a couple of long hairs too. You can imagine the looks on the kids’ faces when we walked the halls.

After the jeep was fixed, we took off down the Mississippi river and into Fayetteville, Arkansas, where we stayed with some girlfriends of mine. Apologies go out to Amy. She knows what for. Great girls too. I met them first in Austin in 1993 at SXSW. SXSW used to be a great music conference for the industry types that wanted to get away from their work for a while, and just enjoy the music. It ahs since become the biggest music conference in the country. Everclear was discovered there. Of course, they drashed and burned, which is exactly what should have happened to them.

We hit Memphis after that. I touched Elvis’ grave. He wasn’t there though. He’s in Africa, living under the name Mojo Risin’. Yeah.

We got to Sarasota, Florida and stayed with my cousin David. Sarasota is where PeeWee Herman was caught doin’ his thang in an adult theater. Isn’t that where you’re supposed to do your thang? We met a bar owner who toold us he could hook us up with some jobs, once we got there. He also had a rather cute waitress working there. My apologies go out to her as well. I think you’re getting the picture. We declined the offer from the bar owner though. We told him we had jobs waiting. We were heading out the St. Thomas, USVI to run a radio station. The owner told us that a music and program director positions were open, and they were ours as soon as we arrived. I had, at the time, seven years in radio, and was stoked to be making my way out there.

After Sarasota, where I left my mini-tape recorder, with a bunch of VERY private thoughts on it, we made our way to Ft. Lauderdale, to put our jeep on a ship. Got the jeep set, and taxied down to Miami. We headed straight for the airport.

I was home less than four months later. When we visited the radio station to begin our jobs, the owner met us, told us he didn’t know who we had spoken too, but they were fired; there were no paying jobs, but we could volunteer if we wanted to.

I left my heart in San Francisco. So I went back to get it.

By that time my, then girlfriend, was pregnant…with someone else’s kid.

I never did care for Florida. No offense. It looks good on you though.

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