Blog: The Educated Reporter

David who?

I spent the last few days at the AERA conference in Denver, meeting with researchers to talk over a project we are thinking of doing at EWA. I had never met most of these people before, so I spent a lot of time walking from lobby to lobby for prearranged meetings, saying “Are you Dick?” or “Are you Bob?”

For my final meeting, with David Plank of PACE, I went to the lobby of the Marriott.

“Are you David?” I said to the only guy there.


“Hi, I’m Linda.”

We had a good talk, with David giving very helpful input on how EWA might implement this idea, on the nature of educational researchers, and so on. As I stood up to go, he gave me his card.

David Foulk.

Not David Plank.

Awkward! Yet he had acted like he totally expected our conversation. Who did he think I was? I said nothing. I walked over to another man working the New York Times crossword puzzle, looking like he was waiting for someone.

“Are you David Plank?”


“I just had a half-hour conversation with someone thinking he was you.”

Mistaken David stories run in my family. One year my husband, John, called our neighbor Dave to pick up the cupcakes for my birthday party. Except our Dave had changed his number a year back, and a different Dave had answered the call and gotten the cupcakes. Mystery, and hilarity, ensued.

So, David Plank, sorry to keep you waiting. David Foulk, dean of Hofstra’s education school, thanks for the input—and I hope I didn’t keep you from another meeting with another Linda.

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