Salt Lake City

June 2, 2017 Paul Groves

I’m here in Salt Lake City to attend the AP Chemistry Reading. I will be in SLC for 12 days. These first days are getting prepped for the Readers who will come and help us score the thousands of exams that students have taken across the country. From my hotel room, I can see snow on the distant mountains. This looks like more snow than in the past, but my memory of details like the amount of snow is not that reliable. We will be working at The Salt Palace which is far enough away from the hotel that I am getting my steps in, hatching Pokémon eggs, and earning my Apple Watch green exercise ring several times over. The Salt Palace has several distinctive towers and there is a new urban art installation along one side. It has 150 road signs with related but sort of opposite terms. The idea is to sit on the bench, take a picture and become part of the art. When I got home tonight, there was a short thunderstorm. It was rather unexpected, but fine from my perspective, since I was already snug in my room.

Inside the Salt Palace (a huge convention center) the ballroom has been set up for the reading. Each question on the exam is scored by lots of teacher and college professors sitting at U-shaped tables. Behind the curtains, other questions are scored on the same exam. Posters in the hallway indicate that chemistry is not the only Advanced Placement exam being graded here. Everything is color-coded, so at meals, I am usually looking for a table with yellow name tagged people. We eat every few hours and even though the snacks are pretty healthy, there are a LOT of snack breaks and the choices include candy and ice cream as well as fruit and popcorn. I think my favorite snack so far is smoked salmon on mini bagels. The carpet in the Salt Palace reminds me of PokeStop rings.

I’ve been taking a short walk at the beginning of our lunch break to burn up some calories and make some progress on my Pokémon goals. I saw this guy with a great Star Wars t-shirt. He let me take a picture. I am also interested in studying the 150 road signs of that art installation. The installation is called “Point of View”.