July 25, 2002

The Eighth Floor in Tulsa

Spent a productive day on the Eighth Floor in Tulsa. This is an unusual organization that came in to being when a number of schools, community colleges and universities agreed to pool their resources to provide staff development about technology. What a terrific place for a workshop! Good equipment, comfortable chairs, ample elbow room. It's nice to see teachers treated like professionals.

Pam Vreeland and Manny Rios took me out for a Lebanese dinner and a tour of Tulsa. We drove past some of the old-money houses from the 20s and the new-money suburbs to the south. I heard about the Philbrook and Gilcrease museums and wish I had time to see them. In conversation I got a sense that Native Americans have a more honored place here now than in some other parts of the country, though that wasn't always the case. Think I need to read up on the history of Oklahoma and the "Five Civilized Tribes".

As the sun set, we visited the only place I had previously associated with Tulsa, Oral Roberts University. After driving past a King Kong-sized pair of prayerful hands, we walked around looking at some of the 60's style, Worlds Fair-ish architecture. From a distance, it looked a bit goofy, but up close it sort of worked.

Good easy conversation and laughs this evening. Like a night out with cousins I'd never met before.

And now Oklahoma is checked off the list. What's left? Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Arkansas. Two or three more years should do it.


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