I’m off to Washington, D.C. for the ALA Annual conference today. The dog is at the kennel yet again (the mother guilt is already settling in). I’m taking the train down later this afternoon (I heart Amtrak…no airports for me!!).
I spent yesterday trying to nail down my schedule for the conference. It’s packed. There’s just so much going on (ALA is always like that) and there’s just no way I’m ever going to make it to all the sessions I want to. I’m barely going to make it to the sessions I’m required to attend! My official whirlwind starts on Friday morning with a 10:30AM meeting and pretty much goes non-stop until 3:30 on Monday afternoon. Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday all start at 8:00AM. My meetings go every day until around 6:00PM. Then I have evening commitments on Thursday (social), Friday (receptions), Saturday (social), and Sunday (library school reunion, vendor receptions, etc.). Have I mentioned I don’t get much sleep at conferences?
I think I’m going to need a lot of coffee.
But for now I’m trying to complete my packing. Packing for conferences just doesn’t get any easier. I’m having the same issues I did when I tried to pack for Midwinter (you can read about it here). This time I have the added complication that it’s June, in DC, which means it’s hot and humid. So not only do I need to pack extra conditioner and hair ties so I can attempt to contain what will be very frizzy hair (can we say white girl afro?), I have to accommodate walking outside in the heat from meeting to meeting and then sitting inside freezing cold rooms. So I’ve thrown in my lovely cardigans (warning! librarian stereotype ahead! but I don’t know how else to cope). And brace yourselves, Shana is going to be wearing skirts all weekend. For those of you that have known me for a long time, you know that this is extremely odd for me. I have skirts…but I just don’t wear them. I worked for 3 years at a library and my colleagues swear they only saw me in a skirt a total of 3 times, and once was for my job interview.
Anyway, the one thing I have learned about packing for conferences is that it’s better to over pack than under pack. I have way more clothes than I need for a four day trip. Better safe than sorry. So I’m taking the big suitcase with wheels. As long as it’s not too heavy for me to maneuver through the train station and on the DC Metro, I’m good. Besides, the big suitcase gives me space to bring back lots of swag from the vendor exhibition booths for my colleagues…if I have time to make it to the exhibits, that is.
So I’m off! Like a herd of turtles.