Friday, January 14, 2005

Report on the fun stuff

I have a lot of cool ideas and resources that I want to share with everyone. But first I wanted to post about the fun things. Although I was the only person from my home institution at the conference, three people from one our consortial schools were there so I hung out with them for meals. We were in Baltimore, so there was plenty of crab and seafood to be had. I at crab at two meals and one of those meals was a seafood buffet, so I had crab in multiple ways at that place.

Last night we at at Pazo, an absolutely fabulous Mediterranean style restaurant. They serve "small plates." You order 3 or 4 per person and everyone shares. I had some of the best raw tuna. Really everything was good. And there was good wine and dessert and coffee. The whole experience was really cool. The best part for me was the small portions. I am a tiny person and I prefer to eat in little portions throughout the day. I also get bored with a meal pretty quickly, so if there's a lot of one thing, sometimes I just quit eating because I'm bored. So this was perfect. I was able to eat small amounts and never got bored because something new was always showing up at the table. I highly recommend it if you're in the Baltimore area.

Schmoozing wasn't fabulous, but nice. These conferences are a little different from academic ones because people tend to come in groups of 2 or more, so everyone has someone to talk to at the breaks, whereas I'm standing around alone. The institution name was really small on the badges, so I couldn't walk up to someone and say, "Hey, I see you're at _____, I'm at _______, right down the road" or "Hey, I see you're at a tiny college. Me too." I did however manage to talk to some people who had implemented something that we're implementing this semester and some people who do exactly what I do--nearly the same job responsibilities--which is very unusual. The discussion about virtual communities was probably my favorite session and I wish there were more like that. Basically the presenter threw out some ideas and we all just talked about them and he kind of moderated the discussion. Sort of like being in a discussion-based class instead of a lecture.

Tomorrow morning, when I've gotten some sleep, I'll post some about the resources and ideas.