The Texas DEN triumphed over crawfish, over competing concurrent sessions, and over adversity at TCEA in Austin. At dinner, STAR members Linda Rush, Sue Baldaccini, Judith Valle, Susan Smith, Heather Lamb, Wade Carrington and Vicki Hart joined Hall Davidson and Sara Fisher to celebrate a great day at TCEA. Between them, the STAR DEN presented to more than 400 people on the first full day of the big Texas educator conference. Hall Davidson did a DEN orientation to nearly 100 attendees, and was followed in the same room by Heather Lamb, who packed them in for her session. Linda Rush did a turn-away business for her session on Special Ed and technology–and was asked by the conference to repeat! She commented "without the DEN I would never have been here presenting!" Judith revealed that her gifted class had made video commercials for milk that aired ‘all the time’ on the local NBC affiliate and she presented her projects at TCEA as well. All came together the Jazz Kitchen for wild Cajun food and good company. Meanwhile at the booth, Hall and Sara joined Mike, Curt Smith, and Steve Finch for formal and informal tech sessions. iPods, Google Earth, Discovery Science Connection, and One Place were popular topics. David Warlich dropped by and saw a presentation done entirely from an iPod. No doubt he has already blogged about it… A walk through the great town of Austin, whose warm weather was a comfort to the folks from Chicago (-1) and Maryland (12 degrees), revealed the home of O Henry, renowned writer whose penchant for surprise endings had us wondering how the night would finish. But nothing extraordinary surprised the DEN–nothing could after Judith’s terrifying travel stories at dinner–and everyone prepared for another applicant Jeremy Koester wonders what he’s gotten himself into. The dinner group volunteered for the Texas DEN advisory council, which will take over the blog, advise on the regional conference and keep connecting teachers to their best resource—each other. Only the crawfish were unhappy.