Teaching Las Vegas - A Photo Essay

In my gig as a college instructor, I traveled three of the last six weeks to Las Vegas to teach a presentation class to a group of students at our campus there.  Since many people think going to Las Vegas is about the casinos, shows, and night life on the strip, I thought I'd share a little behind-the-scenes of my trips.

My teaching schedule in Lincoln has me in the classroom Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and I'd be teaching in Las Vegas on Thursday nights the weeks that I'd be there. I wanted to minimize the disruption for my Lincoln students so I'd leave on Wednesday evening after my classes that day then return on Friday afternoon. This put me in Las Vegas around 10:00 PM on Wednesday nights and leaving the hotel around 5:00 AM to get to McCarran airport in Las Vegas for a 6:40 AM flight on Friday mornings. This was hard on me but it meant I'd only miss three days of class (Fridays) for my students.

So here's what the excitement of my life looked like while I was in Las Vegas. The photos here were taken with my iPhone 5 and my Olympus OM-D E-M5. Two lenses were used on the E-M5: a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and an Olympus 45mm f/1.8.

Travel and Accomodations 

You're probably familiar with the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign at the south end of the strip. I didn't see that. This sign appears in McCarran airport.

You're probably familiar with the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign at the south end of the strip. I didn't see that. This sign appears in McCarran airport.

I stayed at the Hilton Homewood Suites in Henderson. It's a lovely business hotel and each suite features a good-sized work area and a kitchenette. My first room faced the central courtyard with its pool and patio. Sadly, it was a little too cool for swimming during my trips.

I stayed at the Hilton Homewood Suites in Henderson. It's a lovely business hotel and each suite features a good-sized work area and a kitchenette. My first room faced the central courtyard with its pool and patio. Sadly, it was a little too cool for swimming during my trips.

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Guest services book at the Homewood Suites. Comfortable, yes, but there's no place like home.

Guest services book at the Homewood Suites. Comfortable, yes, but there's no place like home.

Work 

I spent most of Thursdays prepping for the evening's class or working on other assignments related to my campus classes in Lincoln.

I spent most of Thursdays prepping for the evening's class or working on other assignments related to my campus classes in Lincoln.

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Notes for an evening lecture and class discussion.

Notes for an evening lecture and class discussion.

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On my last trip, one of my colleagues, Bob Monts, was also teaching at the Las Vegas campus. We met over breakfast in the hotel and chatted about work.

On my last trip, one of my colleagues, Bob Monts, was also teaching at the Las Vegas campus. We met over breakfast in the hotel and chatted about work.

Late each Thursday afternoon, I'd pack up, wait in the hotel lobby and catch the shuttle to the campus. 

Late each Thursday afternoon, I'd pack up, wait in the hotel lobby and catch the shuttle to the campus. 

Room 101, where my class met.

Room 101, where my class met.

Dining 

The hotel was located on a busy street with a number of adjacent shopping plazas and restaurants. A shopping center behind the hotel had a little Mexican place where I got a huge shredded chicken burrito for $3.

The hotel was located on a busy street with a number of adjacent shopping plazas and restaurants. A shopping center behind the hotel had a little Mexican place where I got a huge shredded chicken burrito for $3.

Ate my first In and Out burger and fries on my last trip. We went through a drive-through around 10:30 PM (where we waited in line behind four other cars) when I arrived on Wednesday night.

Ate my first In and Out burger and fries on my last trip. We went through a drive-through around 10:30 PM (where we waited in line behind four other cars) when I arrived on Wednesday night.

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Ate a ginormous cheeseburger at Five Guys Burgers and Fries on the last trip as well. It was burgerlicious.

Ate a ginormous cheeseburger at Five Guys Burgers and Fries on the last trip as well. It was burgerlicious.

Another first: Panda Express. The famous orange chicken was a little much for me but the Sweetfire chicken was decent.

Another first: Panda Express. The famous orange chicken was a little much for me but the Sweetfire chicken was decent.

Diversions 

This was the closest I got to any Las Vegas entertainment: the guide in the hotel room. I never opened it. Actually, I did get out once: my buddy Trevor, who lives in Las Vegas, showed me old Las Vegas on my first trip. We walked around the downtown area but I didn't take any photos.

This was the closest I got to any Las Vegas entertainment: the guide in the hotel room. I never opened it. Actually, I did get out once: my buddy Trevor, who lives in Las Vegas, showed me old Las Vegas on my first trip. We walked around the downtown area but I didn't take any photos.

When I needed a study break, I'd grab my camera and go for a walk. We don't have palm trees or cell phone towers that look like palm trees in Illinois.

When I needed a study break, I'd grab my camera and go for a walk. We don't have palm trees or cell phone towers that look like palm trees in Illinois.

Looked out my hotel room window one morning and was struck by the color of the sky, the power lines, and the clouds. 

Looked out my hotel room window one morning and was struck by the color of the sky, the power lines, and the clouds. 

Intersection of palm trees and power lines.

Intersection of palm trees and power lines.

So that was my Las Vegas experience--work. But the work was enjoyable, so I did mix business and pleasure.  The students were terrific and the presentation material was fun to teach. Looking forward to another opportunity to do this in the future.