I’ve just returned from HighEdWeb ’08. I came down with a cold the day I left and am just now starting to feel normal, so I was way less bouncy than usual and didn’t attend much of the after-hours stuff. Still had a great time, though.
If you’ve been following my Twitter stream, I imagine things got a little confusing there. Here’s where I was all week:
getting sick. getting on plane. sinus pressure + airplane descent = ow. Thank goodness for short regional flights.
Located my co-chair, Shelley, and accompanied her on urgent reconnaissance: drugstore and liquor store, which are conveniently located across the street from each other a block from the hotel! So far Springfield is made of win.
Joyful reunion with fellow committee members. Dinner and general hilarity commences. Also sneezing.
Coughed and sneezed all night. Come morning, asked the hotel to put a mini-fridge in my room and begged Shelley to give me a lift to the grocery, where I collected the complete array of sick-person stuff: Nyquil, Dayquil, Robitussin, cough drops, tissues with lotion, Gatorade, water, fruit, and sandwich fixings.
Bailed on the Sunday events — I usually work registration, which would have thrilled all the attendees, I’m sure — and holed up for the day. Grabbed a few hours’ Nyquil-induced sleep. Woke up around 1, made sandwich, and amused myself with Sarah’s laptop, which was conveniently loaded with a certain TV show I really wanted to watch. Good thing, because the hotel wireless was the WORST EVAR. Turned on HBO just in time to catch the newest episode of True Blood. Win! Except for the part where I’m sick as a dog. Back to sleep at 9.
Dragged self out of bed and knocked back the first of many, many Dayquil caplets. Went to breakfast, then parked laptop and tissues in the back of the Usability, Accessibility, and Design room, where Shelley and I will be running things for the next two days. (It looks like this. And this.) We have a little time to watch, and occasionally post to, the conference Twitter stream, but are otherwise kept hopping all day.
Keynote with Jeffrey Veen, which is ten kinds of awesome. I learned how the sign language interpreters handle “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Hee!
The rest of the afternoon is a bit of a blur until 4, when I ventured out to another track’s room to do my own presentation on WordPress. There’s photographic evidence; otherwise I might think I’d hallucinated the whole thing.
That was the last one of the day, so we packed up and headed to dinner at a Japanese place called Kai. Great conversation with several lovely people who kindly overlooked my continued sneezing.
I passed out after that. I hear there were great parties.
Somewhere in all of this, Shelley found extra T-shirts for Chris Mills, one of our presenters, whose luggage somehow hadn’t accompanied him from England. Fortunately he’s good-humored about this, and we have plenty of geeky shirts in men’s large sizes.
First presentation of the day is from Svetlana, demonstrating the problems deaf people face on the web and showing us a phone conversation via IM interpreters. Nifty.
Second keynote from Kyle Ford of Ning, who really does talk so fast he’s a blur. The interpreters were hurting after that.
Chris’s luggage arrives! He gets to do his presentation — the last one of the regular tracks — in clean clothes after all.
The evening outing is at Springfield’s Discovery Center, where I got to see my esteemed colleagues try the high-wire bike and sit in the Lily Tomlin chair. Really, it’s only fitting that the conference chair gets that one.
Several of us headed back to the hotel lobby, where we intended to drink while watching the debate. However, a ton of other people had the same idea and we couldn’t get near the TV. Well, we didn’t really need the debate part anyway…. Still an early night for me, though.
Starting to feel human again. Naturally it’s the last day of the conference. The best-of winners are always a treat. I finally got to leave the UAD room to see a couple of the best-of repeats, and then sat in on a great workshop on social networking.
That’s that for the conference! Had dinner with the rest of the committee (those that were still in town) and spent a little time in the hotel lobby with the Canadian contingent.
Travel day. Attempted to catch up on things using the free wireless at Springfield’s airport, except it drops out every five seconds and its firewall has all ports except 80 blocked. So much for email.
Home. Food. Laundry. Email. Sleep. Not necessarily in that order.