Sunday, March 6, 2011

IRC Conference - Just Around the Corner!

Let's see, wasn't I going to post a new blog entry every day for the first month before the conference?  And wasn't I going to try to do a vlog entry?  Well, the first would have gotten done if I'd had more .... what's that stuff called?  Time?  And the second would have gotten done if I had better make-up.  Maybe I’ll still try.

As for the reading goal, I'm somewhere between 100 and 200 books out of over 500, and the conference begins in a week and a half.  Think I'll make it?  Me neither!  But am I going to stop trying?  Heck no!  As a matter of fact, I plan on hitting the Lincoln Library again tomorrow to knock out around 20 more books.  At the same time, I'm listening to T. A. Barron's Child of the Dark Prophecy (Book One of The Great Tree of Avalon trilogy) in my car while I drive to and fro, and I’m reading my first “Pals in Peril” book (M.T. Anderson):  The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen in the extra elusive snippets of time that show up, usually before I turn out the light before bed.  Mind you, I’m reading that one out of order.  The first one is Whales on Stilts, but I have neglected somehow to purchase that one; while I really abhor reading books out of sequence, I’m taking one for the cause this time and will just plan on confusing myself later.  

I do have to share two things with you about The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen.  First of all, here’s a summary of the book from the front flap:  “Looking forward to a vacation, Katie, Lily, and Jasper attach their flying Gyroscopic Sky Suite to the Moose Tongue Lodge and Resort, where they mingle with other child heroes found in books, and where they become embroiled in a mystery involving lederhosen-clothed quintuplets and a screaming ventriloquist.”  Sound wild?  Classic Anderson.  I’m telling you, if you have not read his work, you are missing out big time.  To illustrate my point further, last night I was sitting there reading, and I came across the following passage that made me laugh out loud:

“Also, keep your eyes open for things that might make people look suspicious.  Sometimes a little subtle detail that might escape you at first turns out to be the thing that really matters most.  For example, does a particular character carry a sword?  Does a particular character walk on all fours, bobbing his head up and down?  Does a character suspend you over a pit of lava and say, ‘Soon it will be mine!  Mine!  Mine, I tell you!’?  In the difficult world of police detection, it’s often little clues like this that give the game away.”  (page 31)

And back to Barron.  As I have come to expect, Barron’s book is rich in description, both of the setting and the action.  He has created a cast of characters, major and minor, that are unlike any other, and they are all about to come crashing together (at the point where I’m listening).  It’s this kind of book that makes me wonder about how it is some people are so creative that they can dream up these incredible worlds and creatures while others can’t even imagine putting grape jelly on their toast in the morning instead of strawberry.  Anyway, I thought about bringing the CD in to the house tonight and listening to it with my headphones, but then I wouldn’t get any reading done on the Anderson book, and I wouldn’t get my work done for the conference – which reminds me, I’d better get busy! 

For those of you who are entertaining the idea of possibly running for Vice-President and so planning one of these conferences, it’s a week and a half before the conference, and here is a partial list of what I have been doing this past weekend and some of what I still need to do:

*Figure out what to wear, and buy normal people clothes so that I don’t look the way I usually do (and if you know me well, you know how much I hate to shop – really.  I did NOT get that gene.)  I also have to figure out whether I’m going to need the pink boa or the red boa for Friday night … (almost partially half-way done)

*Get to Pier One Imports to buy the director’s chairs – yes, we’re going to have the featured speakers autograph them again this year and give one away!  Got this one done today.

*Write my thank-you’s to the featured speakers and committee chairs – I have one done and one to go, and these are due tomorrow.

*Write thank you’s to the kind folks who sent us promotional materials to give away.  I consider myself half done with this because I have the cards, envelopes, and addresses.  (Okay, so I am delusional.)

*Check in with the Veep (Pat Braun) to see if she has all of the introductions written and help her finish up what she doesn’t have done.  (They’re supposed to go out in the mail tomorrow – I suspect she has these all finished because if you know her at all, you know what a ball of energy she is!)

*Check in with the tech guy at the University on when I should pick up the laptops for the Internet Café.

*Oh yeah, clean out the rest of my car so there’s somewhere to PUT the computers.

*Ask the University folks who they use for recycling to see if the Convention Center can get recycling bins from the same folks.

*Get back to Staples because when I was there today I forgot to get lamination pockets.

*Try to find some different white foam board so that I can fix my big, beautiful, blue display.

*Finish cd’s for the meals.

*Call to make an appointment to get my teeth cleaned.  (We ALL want me to do that.)

*Make a list of what happens at each meal (awards, etc.)

*Finalize the dinner seating so Pat can get the place cards in the right places.

*Create my own lists of where I have to be when and what I have to do when I’m there.

So there are some deadlines that need to be met for the sake of the office personnel who are doing all the putting-together of things, and there are some self-imposed deadlines as well.  And a host of other things that I can’t tell you about here …..

And then there’s my job!  There’s so much going on there it’s not funny.  So yes, the last weeks before the conference begins are full, full, full, but I’m not worried about it getting done.  I talked to someone today who said “Are you getting freaked out yet?” and I honestly have to say that no, I’m not.  I don’t really expect to be, either.  I’m excited as all get out, but I don’t believe there’s anything to worry about.  It is going to be a blast, and I hope everyone enjoys themselves! 

As for deadlines, I read a great quote today by the inimitable Douglas Adams:  “I love deadlines.  I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”  No disrespect intended for the IRC office – I really don’t like to miss deadlines, but I really like Douglas Adams and thought that was a fun quote.

Normally I would have all sorts of links and pictures in this blog posting, but apparently my computer has worms tonight or something and is not cooperating.  I’ll add links later, but for now, I have to finish up some conference items and go find out what’s up with Jasper Dash, Boy Technonaut!


  1. Looking forward to meeting you, Cindy, at the IRC Conference. I'm a featured speaker, coming in for March 17 (The BIG Picture of Reading and Engaged Interactive Read Aloud: An Essential in Tomorrow's Classroom. This will be my first trip to Illinois (should I dress warmly?).

  2. I am excited about you coming to Illinois too! As a matter of fact, you and I have been in email contact in the last few days about the conference. I just haven't had a moment to check for comments on the blog or do a new entry until tonight.

    As for the weather, we are actually going to have some of our first real warm weather for the conference. It looks like we will be in the high fifties / low sixties. The conference venue is entirely inside except for walking across the street. (You can access the Convention Center underground from one of the Abraham Lincoln Hotel, and the Hilton Hotel is directly across the street from the Abraham Lincoln.) So if you don't wander around Springfield, you should be fine with a light jacket. You might want to bring an umbrella, though, just in case! See you Wednesday night!