“Mrs. L didn’t get the tickets yet.  The first half sold out. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

I said yes to something only an insano mom would do.  MineCon.

“What’s MineCon?” you ask.

It’s twelve-thousand Minecraft people converging somewhere in the US.   This year it’s in Anaheim, California, right at the beginning of the school year.  If we scored tickets, that’d make me one of Those Moms who pulls her kid out of school to have “an experience.”

Moms email me about such things quite often.

“I’m sorry, we’re going to see family in South Africa for an extra week after Christmas.”  I always tell them to go.  I get that schools like good attendance, but I can’t promise my class that day will be more valuable than your trip to South Africa, Colombia, Puerto Rico, or cruise to Mexico.

I try, but I just can’t put that in writing.

Go.  Travel.  See the world.  Have experiences.  It’s how you develop passion and appreciate culture, language, history.  Learn my stuff next week.

I hope Declan’s teacher says that, too.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said my friend.  She used the “e” word–experience–so I had to say yes.

“Once in a lifetime?  It’s every year!”  If we go this year, it’ll probably be twenty feet away in Providence next year.  Then, I guess it’ll be a twice in a lifetime experience, won’t it?

She’s bringing her 10-year old who’s currently beating me in CS50, Harvard’s cultlike intro to computer science class.  I sent him the link so he could help me when I got stuck.  I invited my students who wanted to learn to code, too.  They’re beating me as well.   I’m not throwing the fight,  I’m trying hard.   They’re just better, that’s all.  I don’t even game.

Do I belong at MineCon?

“Don’t worry,” said the MineCon site.  “If you’re a parent, old person, or someone who just reads books there’ll be a section of activities for you.”  It said there’d be panels, tutorials, and tons of other things for people just like me.  Basically, there’s a holding tank for parents and the unworthy.

I wonder if it’ll be like the place you stuff your kid at the gym so you can pretend to run for twenty minutes until he drives the workers crazy and you have to leave.

There’ll probably be coffee in square mugs and a bunch of staff trying to explain, “It’s like Legos but you don’t have to fight over the wheels.”  There’s nothing round in Minecraft.   My brother and I always fought over the wheels when we played Legos.

The staff won’t be equipped for someone like me who will ask real questions, “How do I stop my 8-year old from making giant phallic structures telling me they’re buildings?

“I can build anything I want in Minecraft,” he says. He watches DanTDM all the time.

It’s true. He can.  And he does.  Generally, he behaves, creates–and learns.

I want to learn enough Minecraft to build a virtual school that gives my son real assignments.  If he doesn’t learn his times tables, a creeper sneaks up and explodes, or everyone gets banished to the Netherworld.

I’ll ask the Parent babysitters how to do that if I get tickets.

Last night’s 6K tickets sold out in 30 seconds.  Mrs. L. tried her best.  She’s on “spending all the money on her credit card” duty because 6PST is past my bedtime.  That’s when the tickets went on sale.

“We’ve got another shot at noon today.”

So, by 3PM EST, I should know if I get the privilege of spending a bunch of cash to fly out to Anaheim during the school year with an 8-year old gamer in training.

I’m going to need some assistance for this one.  A gamer-tutor.  I’ll need to hire a teen. Probably several.

“Well, Miss, you see…”

I asked my students about MineCon, Comic-Con… all the Cons.  That’s not a simple question.  There are hard-core people behind these conferences, billion dollar industries, and a lot for a person like me to absorb in one shot.  I had to table the conversation so I could teach class.

At 3PM today, I’ll know if I must start studying, learning, and building even more–or if I can go back to writing and drinking coffee.

If we win the ticket madness, we’ll have quite the experience.

And if we don’t win, I’ll save a pile of cash and maybe we’ll try again next year.  We’ll hold our breath and as with all conferences, we’ll hope that they pick someplace tropical, or somewhere a little closer to home.

[UPDATE:  We got the tickets.  We’ll report out live… from the parent section… At MINECON]


[Image via flickr, hobbymb]

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