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02 October 2013

The Magic of Social Media

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to go to Memphis, Tennessee and present some of the awesome things we do at my school at the Lausanne Learning Institute. It was also a wonderful opportunity to hang out with my maid-of-honor/amazing best friend, LL. It was only a week before the wedding, so no stress there, right?!

The thing I was most excited about was that the hotel we were staying at was the Peabody Hotel. This hotel is world famous for the ducks that spend their days in the lobby fountain. It's a little known fact that I am mildly obsessed with ducks. I'm not sure why, especially given the fact that my husband hunts them for pleasure and meat. And I don't enjoy eating them,  but I do just adore them. So staying in a hotel where they reside was pretty exciting.

When I arrived, everything was ducks. My soap was shaped like a duck. The pillows on my bed were embroidered with ducks. The little hotel shampoos and lotions were in bottles with ducks on them. The butter at our fancy-schmancy dinner was carved to be a duck (which led to a whole different and highly inappropriate conversation that required the assistance of Urban Dictionary). It was fantastic. I immediately started tweeting and Facebooking about how excited I was and how amazing the hotel was. I even sent out pictures, making sure to hashtag appropriately and to mention the hotel.

Peabody Memphis rubber ducky
The most adorable rubber ducky ever. 
My Peabody Memphis duck collage
Peabody Memphis ducks
Ducks in the lobby fountain.
The hotel noticed my tweets and responded that they were happy I was enjoying my stay. I was pleased that they noticed me. A little validation never hurts, right? I continued to tweet and mention them because I was genuinely happy with my stay and my experience. I wasn't expecting anything in return, but I figured that I had used social media in the past to complain about service so now was an opportunity to rave about a wonderful experience. 

On my last night, I left my room around 4pm to hang out with my MOH out and about in town. When I returned to my room several hours later, I found this sitting on my freshly made bed ...


The Duckmaster Rubber Ducky

At first, I was confused, so I read the note. It was from the "Duckmaster" (The guy in the red jacket that leads the ducks to and from their fountain each day), telling me how happy he was that I had genuinely enjoyed my stay and had shared my wonderful experiences. He wanted me to accept this GIANT rubber ducky (dressed as the Duckmaster, of course!) as a gift, a memory of my trip.

Wait. What?!

I of course tweeted out a pic of the gift with a message that contained many exclamation points. I was so thrilled that the Peabody Hotel had noticed my praise and surprised me with such a sweet (and appropriate!) gift. I've always believed in the power of social media, but this experience solidified that. I now keep that rubber ducky on my classroom desk, and my students regularly ask about it. And, of course, I eagerly tell them my awesome story.

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