I feel the NITARP experience will be a major influence for me here on out.
The most interesting thing was the total experience of working with such amazing professional astronomers doing real science. I really did not know what to expect. The experience did exceed, in a positive way, all my imaginations.
The more I talked with astronomers and support staff at the different booths [at my first AAS], the more I began to realize that being a teacher, and an amateur astronomer, is really very different from being a professional astronomer.