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? 




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