Thursday, March 28, 2013

CLUSTER! + Some Reading

Wow, so, yeah, that was the biggest cluster of a couple of weeks EVER.

I've mentioned it here before, but we've been putting together our biannual alumni magazine. Yours truly is the editor, so I basically gathered and wrote the majority of 54 pages of content over the last two and a half weeks. Now that I have this experience under my belt I know how to NEVER HAVE THIS HAPPEN AGAIN.

Did I type that loud enough?

So after a wild and woolly two weeks of gathering and writing content, proofreading, editing, and general work malarky, I was supposed to go do a ropes course this past Saturday with a leadership class I'm taking (also for work). There is nothing on the planet I'm LESS interested in than a ropes course. I was also perturbed by the fact that I was doing this ropes course on the one available day between magazine hell and an out-of-town conference! Luckily for me, the course was cancelled because of rain. Our alternate day is April 6th. Maybe it'll rain again! Oh, and I was also perturbed that I was going to have to get up at 4:15am to make the departure time and wouldn't be back until 10:30pm. *rain dance*

So with Saturday at my disposal, I did laundry, did some light house cleaning, and made the necessary preparations to be out of town. Took the dog to my Mom's house, made arrangements for Greyson to go to my Mom's house, and basically just played SIMS2 and watched Scrubs until I fell asleep. It was a good brain break.

Sunday, I rolled out bright and early to the CASE District 4 conference in Fort Worth. People who live in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth area know that residents here tend to be either Dallas-oriented or Fort Worth-oriented. I have grown up on the Dallas side, so while I'm familiar with Fort Worth, I haven't spent a ton of time there besides zipping in and out to Six Flags Over Texas, a concert, or a graduation. For this conference, we stayed at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel which was wonderfully fancy and decadent. It's located a few blocks from Sundance Square and right across the street from the Fort Worth Water Gardens.

If there's anything I can say about Fort Worth, it's that the people and ambiance are unabashedly TEXAN! There was a cattle raiser's conference in town when we arrived on Sunday. Seriously, I have never seen so many cowboy hats, Wrangler jeans, and boots in my life. And worn without one stitch of irony. When I lived in North Carolina, I always found it comforting, that as I jumped planes bound for Texas, I would inevitably run across a man in a cowboy hat. And it felt like home.

The conference was a lot of fun for several reasons.
1. I got to see my colleagues let their hair down.
2. There were a few sessions that were REALLY informative.

I attended several sessions on social media. This can be hit and miss since I'm well-versed already. Social Media 101-type talks don't do much for me, but there was one on university transparency that was really helpful.

I also attended an informative session hosted by TCU on the process of creating a digital viewbook. SO COOL!

And finally, there was a session on working with Young Alumni demographics that was super fantastic. I work closely with Alumni Relations, so hopefully we can talk shop and share some ideas on this one.

On the flip side, I was MOST disappointed by a session on "the secrets of superlative writing." While the presenter had a stunning resume, and was undoubtedly a fine writer, this was also too "101." When the session started with tips like "use short sentences" and "choose meaningful words" I knew I was in trouble.

Oddly enough, while I haven't cracked a book open in what seems like eons, I did find a few minutes of downtime to read at the conference!

I started Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. She is attending my book club meeting tonight, and I was super excited about that, but since I've been running around like a crazy person, and I came home to a kiddo with a temperature and an influx of snot, I'm gonna pass on tonight's meeting. Plus, I'm not done with the book. I'm enjoying it a lot, and I will most definitely finish but won't officially be discussing this one with the group. I guess Trish and I will have to chat about it on Twitter instead. 

And speaking of Twitter, have you been Tweeting about the #NakedJamie Outlander readalong? Heather posted about the halfway point here.

Since The Estella Society is heading up the April 27th Dewey's Read-a-thon, I happen to know that sign-ups are now available! Go right on over.

What's shaking in your life -- bookish or otherwise? 


  1. Busy gal! I hope the boy gets well soon! Hate this back and forth weather, I want spring already. Dang.
    I haven't done a read a thon and can't see me ever being able to unless I become disabled and therefore unable to tend to whiny children and an even whinier hubby. Sometimes my weekends are spent looking forward to work.
    A Ropes Course. Who comes up with this stuff?!

    1. Busy indeed, Marie! He's feeling better already. He was perky and adorable this morning.

      And yes, I know what you mean about the Readathon. I have to banish everyone else from the house. lol

      No idea whose brilliant idea it was to do a ropes course A COUPLE OF HOURS AWAY.

  2. Lord, you've been busy! Oh my God. I had to laugh at your description of the cattle rangler's conference. "All worn without irony." I can just imagine that scene. Hopefully, things slow down some for you. I hope Greyson feels better.

    1. Vasilly, this may be the ONLY place on earth that cowboy hats are still normal. I swear we don't ride horses to work though (very often).

  3. Goodness, you do have a busy life.

    I think all our relatives are on the Fort Worth side of DFW, although . . . no, wait. I have some relatives in Richardson, so I guess it's hubby's side that's in FW. Coolest thing about FW to me is that fountain that was used in the filming of Logan's Run. Have you been there?

    Sorry you're missing your F2F group. I feel awkward going if I haven't finished a book but sometimes I go anyway since I'm seldom around other humans outside of my immediate family. Definitely not an Andiloo problem, eh?

    1. Richardson! That's where I lived previously, when Greyson was born. Good people, good area. :)

      I go even when I haven't finished most of the time. However, being away from home so much this week, I just couldn't do it. So so so tired. And I missed my boy!

  4. Wow. I cannot believe you pulled off that entire Alumni magazine on your own. Amazing! Texas is one of my most favorite states (of the ones I've been to, which is a little over half) and being able to wear cowboy attire sans irony is fantastic.

    1. Brooke, yeah, me neither. lol I have student writers, and they are amazing, but they were out for much of the hustle over Spring Break. They did contribute, but the bulk was moi. Ouch!

  5. Just thinking about all you do makes my head spin!

  6. Awww I wish I could do the read-a-thon, but I'll be playing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring all day that day! :)

    Sounds like the conference was great!

    1. Monika, now there's nothing wrong with that! sounds pretty cool, in fact. :)

  7. It sounds like some of those panels were really fun and informative, though the one on writing sounds as if it was made for those just out of college. I am glad that you are back, but sorry that Greyson is sick. That sounds like a bummer to come home to. I am hoping to read Calling me Home soon as well, though I am going for the audio. I have been laid up with a back injury for the better part of 2 weeks, and have been in a reading and listening frenzy. It's amazing how much reading you can do when all your distractions are taken away!

    1. They were, Zibilee! It's always a great feeling to go into a session and take TONS of notes and feel that need to share with others. :D

      Greyson got over whatever he had super fast. Two days and we were back to normal. :) He had a fan-freaking-tastic time yesterday hunting Easter eggs.

  8. Wow, you have been busy! That ropes course sounds ghastly. I'm praying for rain on the 6th...ha!

  9. Wow, busy couple of weeks. Not sure what a ropes course is but I'm assuming it's one of those partnership-building exercises I dread. Glad you got out of it and had time to do a little reading.

    Me, I finally finished On the Road (bleh)and the husband and I are planning a trip to Australia in May! In the next month I have a wedding to attend, a three week trip to plan, and a research paper to write. So I won't be blogging much either.

    Enjoy the readathon!


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