Monday #DENSI2014 Reflection

Filed Under (Conference, DEN Events) by Jeannine on 15-07-2014

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It happened again. I rose way too early for my liking. Do you think maybe I was excited about something? What would there be to be excited about? Oh perhaps maybe just a little excited about spending the day with all my DEN friends exploring the Ryman Auditorium, , the Parthenon, and The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum,


You can explore a virtual walk down History Lane with Perhaps you are like me and read this location and thought, “The what?”. Well according to

“On March 15, 1974, the Opry made its last broadcast from Ryman before moving to its new custom built home, The Grand Ole Opry House at Opryland.” It seems in 1901 the Ryman Stage was created to offer a home to touring company of the New York Met’s Opera Company. The acoustic or said to be the second best in the world. Not too shabby.


The Parthenon serves as an art museum. It was originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 B.C.


The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has been the heart of country music since 1967. The museum provides interactive stations, wardrobe, instrument, and record displays from several iconic Country Singers. This is one of those kitchen sink exhibits. Everything is here from one Elvis’ 7 cadalliacs, A gold piano, Crystal Gale’s wardrobe samples, Johnny Cash’s guitar, a car from the Movie The Bandit, Taylor Swifts’s tour bus, and a Florida Georgia Line Tshirt and trophies. The displays run the gammit.


After exploring these venues we returned to the beautiful Vanderbilt University campus. After dinner we were able to attend an advanced screening of a new program called “How the Universe Works”. The graphic are stunning. The music exceptional. And the voice narration provided by Mike Rowe is compelling. It is so nice to get to sample some of the wonderful Discovery Education products that will soon be released.


Tomorrow will be another big day. I should be heading to bed. Night all y’all.

Sunday #DENSI2014 Reflection

Filed Under (DEN Events) by Jeannine on 14-07-2014

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The moment so many of us have been waiting for has finally arrived. I feel like a small child on Christmas. The DEN is here! The DEN is here! Wake up, wake up, it’s time for the #DENSI2014. Maybe that is why I rose with the sun this morning. The first time I checked my phone was slightly after 5:30 am. I am so impressed by those that can take that extra step and join the DEN Fit Club. Me? I rolled over for awhile and thought about my schedule and what would need to be done. I eventually admitted defeat that yes I was awake and logged in to catch up with social media. With all the excitement with the dawn of the #DENSI2014, there is so much conversation on so many social media tools. It is so wonderful to experience this excitement.

Slowly but surely our friends began to arrive. Some were members we have known for some time, some were members we met last year, some were brand new members. I just love helping add new members to our tribe. I had the privilege of having lunch with a special new DENSI member.  We discussed are various experiences with the DEN. We both marveled at the power of the DEN to shape us, help us, and inspire us. Each individual’s experience is unique. But the same themes run throughout. Themes such as love, acceptance, joy, honor to be chosen, excitement, and other such positive descriptions are universal when discussing the DEN.


An overarching theme in the DEN is always connections. Each year I love the activity that kicks off the first night’s festivities. Each of the attendees brings a small token that represents where they are from. These gifts are placed in bags so that we can’t tell the item in advance. The item and a brief summary of the gift giver are included in the gift bag. Your first job is to find your gift giver. Your second job is to converse with them. It is a great ice breaker. The goal is to spark conversation and make that first connection for this year’s DENSI. The third job happens when your gift receiver finds you. Now it is time to reverse roles and discuss the item that you chose to share. This is your second connection made during #DENSI2014. Within just a few minutes of being at DENSI2014, even new attendees have 2 connections. Two new friends with which to remember this amazing evening. I adore this simple activity. It isn’t about the gift. It’s about the discussion behind the gift with the people behind the gift.


Time with the DEN is a gift. Undoubtedly one of the best professional gifts that I receive. Time with the DEN exploring or listening to sessions is inspiring. Tomorrow we will have some time with an excursion visiting some local famous locations. I can’t wait to board the busses and head into the adventure together. Guess I should get some sleep to prepare for the journey. Night everyone!