Teaching & Learning

Final Thoughts about Vegas

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I was raised in Ohio and have never lived outside of it. So Las Vegas was a cultural experience for me, to put it lightly. Here are some of my final thoughts on the conference and Vegas, complete with pictures.  

Panel Presenters and Audience

A selfie taken of a panel of five people in front of a room of chairs for the audience. About a dozen people are in the audience waving at the camera.

This was the panel and the audience for our presentation on how our institutions reacted and pivoted to COVID-19. Also: researchers are now starting to look at how that rapid transition has made a lasting impact on education. I attended several sessions on educators’ and students’ perceptions of education (both online and face-to-face). It will be interesting, to say the least, when those K-12 students get into higher education. We are already seeing a bit of a change in our current students, but that could be nothing compared to what’s coming. 

Casino Floor

The floor of the Planet Hollywood casino taken from an upper level. People are walking about and various game tables and machines are scattered about.

Casinos are like Dave and Busters but sad. However, a friend of mine critiqued me when I said that because I had only seen Planet Hollywood. So to spite him, I walked over to the Bellagio.  

The Bellagio casino, full of flowers and opulent archways and glass ceiling.

Wow. It’s beautiful; no wonder Danny Ocean knocked over that one, not Planet Hollywood. But overall, Vegas is a pretty sad place. And it’s true what they say about casino floor plans. They are confusing and disorienting. Even the signs with directions are slightly off. 


Days don’t exist in Vegas. There is no weekday or weekend. There just is. It speaks to man’s depravity when you see the same people at the same machine in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night. People need Jesus in Vegas, and yes, I did just Jesus juke this post. 


The food is either mediocre or exceptional, but it’s always overpriced. Kind of like those presentations you sit through as an instructor where visually it’s well-organized, and everything is spelled right, but you realize about halfway through that it’s lacking. Take a look at the presentation of these chicken tenders. Presentation: A. Food: D+.  

Chicken tenders in a white ceramic bowl with a tiny black plastic cup of sauce. The white bowl is inside a larger bowl made of thick red wire. More red wire is attached to the bowl and base in the shape of a chicken.

All that to say: These pork belly buns from Momofuku were unreal, though, and worth every penny.  

An oval white plate with eight small buns on it. Each bun is split open and contains a thick chunk of pork belly, cucumbers, and a dark sauce.

Bonus: these are pickled beets, radishes, and green beans. Surprisingly, they were the next best thing after the pork belly buns. I wouldn’t say I like pickled veggies, but I would travel across the country for these again in a heartbeat.  

A dark plate with three piles of pickled veggies on it – green beans, yellow beets, and red radishes.

And there was a Chick-Fil-A right on the strip. It even had a walk-up window. People need Jesus and also good quality chicken in Vegas. I wanted to take a picture of it but not look like a total midwestern tourist, so I quickly (and I mean quickly) raised my phone to take this photo.  

The outside of a Chick-Fil-A with a queue leading up to walk-up windows.

AECT Conference

The AECT conference was an excellent opportunity to learn from, share with, and meet other educators and professionals. I look forward to going in future years and presenting again. If you have an opportunity, you should consider attending. 

Food (again!)

This coffee and cannoli were unreal. 

A small paper take-out cup of coffee with a lid and small square plate holding a cannoli with cream overflowing both ends sit on a marble ledge overlooking the floor below.

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