I love to travel. So much so that the destination hardly matters—near, far, domestic, international. I love it all.
I adore hotels, especially good hotels. I like the little wrapped soaps, the feeling of clean sheets pulled really taut and don’t get me started on the wonders of room service.
And while I really enjoy the time on the road, I’m equally fond of the planning—choosing routes, destinations, sites, etc. A couple years ago, we decided to take a two week road trip and I fully planned (and by this I mean I had typed, printed itineraries) two different trip options so the family could vote. (Yes, I can be difficult to live with, but it’s really great to travel with me!)
So I’m very excited about attending the ASHA convention this year. I’ve never been to San Diego (hooray!). I’m booked at a fancy hotel (yippee!). Conventions require scrupulous reading of session topics and scheduling (whee!).
I’ll admit I approached the on-line convention scheduler with some trepidation. I really like reading through the old fashioned convention programs. I like the idea of kismet. Though I work with pediatrics, primarily on articulation and language issues, something outside of that realm might tickle my fancy. What if there is a research study involving geriatrics whose communication skills stayed sharp through red wine and mystery novels? I want to be there! Is there something involving animals and communication? Count me in! What about bizarre Oliver Sacks type stuff? Please save me a seat!
So plugging in keywords, topic area and tracks seemed too limiting in some ways. But I dutifully persevered. I plugged in topics. I selected interesting sessions. I downloaded the info. Uh-oh. I had lots of double and triple booked sessions and big gaps in between. I can go back and search by date only trying to fill in some holes, but that seems rather cumbersome.
And the scheduler shows a printed itinerary with only session numbers. So I found myself paging back and forth trying to figure out what I had selected and which of the 2 or 3 would get my time. Another uh-oh. Several of the times on my itinerary don’t match that on the session description. I’m assuming the session description is the correct one. Huh. Oversight on my part. I didn’t realize that a course I “selected” is actually a short course. Or actually I did, but didn’t register the fact that this meant an additional fee and separate registration to secure my spot. I’m still debating that one. At this point, I’m about 80% sorted out. Oh. Looks like the short course debate is over. It’s full. Someone ought to tell the scheduler.
The last convention I went to (Chicago 2008) I ran around like the Energizer bunny trying to maximize my continuing education hours. This time I arrive with all my hours completed and, while I’m eager to gain more knowledge, I’m planning to maximize the experience. So this means getting to the zoo and probably an art museum. I’m leaving myself enough time for lunch to enjoy the San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival. I’ll sleep in one morning and order room service. I leave a couple hours open for kismet.
Are you coming? Let me know where you’ll be!
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