After saying goodbye to the folks I was working with during the training in Wheaton, I flew to Dallas for the Perspectives National Conference, something that happens every couple of years. At one point I found myself musing on the lanyards they gave us to hold our name tags. Huh. "Welcome to Irving, Texas" was printed on the material, over and over. That's weird, I thought. The guys down in Texas donated these for the conference then. It was at that point that I realized, hey wait, we ARE in Texas. Between the trips from and back to DFW airport, I only left the hotel once, briefly, to have lunch at Denny's with a friend. We could have been in any city in America (or somewhat beyond).
Having worked through two weekends in a row I'm planning on taking today off from unnecessary work-related tasks and let soul catch up with body. My first whole day off so far this month. How'd that happen?
The Perspectives conference was a bit overpopulated with people who like to talk, as my co-worker pointed out. Every plenary session went into overtime, every workshop included more audience participation that the facilitator might have been seeking, and there was a pretty constant buzz in the air. At times, I thought: we (including me) need to learn when to hush up and listen. Every thought need not be an expressed thought. But I did hear some interesting stories, and came away with things I can use as well as stuff to just ponder.
Among the reasons I wanted to attend this event were to get some tools and ideas for sharpening my teaching skills, and to meet or reconnect people who might be likely to invite me to their classes or events. I'm pleased with the results on both.
Ironically, one work-ish thing I may need to work on today is to start making travel plans for my next trip out of town. Yup, I'm going to Southeast Asia in July (Inshallah.) There I'll come alongside our two research teams to help them finish well. Since once team gets done several weeks before the other, I'll start with the first one, attend a conference for our company, then meet up with the second team. Looks like I'll be gone about a month. (It's nice to be single, healthy, flexible, and pretty much fully funded.)
Travel is not really my cup of tea, however, and making travel arrangements is particularly stressful and scary for me; I need to be careful not to put this off so long that tickets double in price. Oh, and brave enough to make the arrangements a bit more complicated so I can tuck in a visit to my pals in KL, if they are around. (Hear that, H's?) Hmm, need to get a visa or two, too; yikes! (I wish I ranked an admin assistant! It would be heavenly. But there's nobody to take care of me but me.)
For now, though, I'm turning off the laptop and putting it away. Go make coffee, and a nice breakfast. Read the paper, and spend some time in the Old Testament. Maybe I'll go for a walk in a bit, and think about laundry and lawn-mowing. Oh yeah, and today is trash day. Nice to be home.