Putting It Together

I’m exhausted, but I couldn’t sleep if I tried.

I did try, but I haven’t had my usual uninterrupted night of sleep in a couple of weeks at least. I’ve been constantly distracted at work by notifications and messages and reminders of something else that needs my attention, and I’ve had to figure out how to the share responsibility for looking after a multi-limbed thing that, like a quantum theory cat, seems to only behave predictably until you observe it, then it veers somewhere else you didn’t expect.

This is part of what is has been like for me as a co-chair of the HighEdWeb NY Regional Conference that we’re hosting here in Ithaca today. It all feels so familiar, working with people and organizations I’ve known for years. But there’s also an alternate-dimension feeling to it all, being on the other side of where I normally am, where people I usually find myself traveling to see have now traveled to see us and each other.

Planning this conference has been like putting on a wedding, a variety show, and a trade expo all in the same space on the same day. There are guests who have traveled hundreds of miles and paid us money to be part of something exciting and helpful; our presenters have put in hours of their own to create a show of new ideas they’re excited to share; we have sponsors and vendors who want to introduce themselves to potential new client; it’s exhausting even writing about it, never mind keeping track of it.

I couldn’t be happier.

A few hours from now we’ll have officially kicked off our conference, and I’ll be bouncing from one presentation room to another, and on my phone from one Slack channel to another, looking after a bunch of amazing volunteers that have helped us get things together and making sure everyone who is there feels that everything is awesome. I’m so excited to see what we’re going to learn today, so amazed that we’ve got 130 people here to learn and discuss new ways to do our jobs better, and I’m so proud to be part of the team that is making this happen.

I love being part of HighEdWeb and maybe someday I’ll do this again. Just give me a few days to catch up on my sleep first…

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