morning musings

Even though it’s totally backwards from what you’d expect with the direction of my journey, I’m finding myself crashing out early and then waking early. (Doesn’t help that my hotel room has absurdly noisy HVAC.) So I’m in a chain coffeeshop a couple minutes walk away, looking out on an unfamiliar city.

(Minneapolis, MN, for the “Confab” content strategy conference. I’m here through Saturday afternoon.)

The most startling/dismaying thing, actually, is that the trees here are still entirely bare. Not “on the verge of Spring” bare, but entirely midwinter-style bare. When I left home, the poplars in the front yard had not only shed their dreadful “flowers”, but were fully leafed out. And yet the temperature is about the same. Not the weather: there was lightning last night, and supposedly we’re in for thunderstorms today.

Everything from yesterday’s workshop is rattling around in my head. How do I put it all into practice? What’s going to be most useful?

Got downstairs & realized I’d locked myself out of my room. Got to the coffeeshop, started checking my email, and realized I don’t think I have my badge. So I need to get back to the hotel room before breakfast & get all that taken care of. Good times.

All the mochas I’ve had here have been too hot. Not sure what’s up with that.

I want to find a yarn store while I’m here, but between time, distance, and weather, I’m not sure that’s going to happen. I’m not going to run out of yarn, though, I’m pretty sure of that. I’m working on a sweater vest for C, which turns out to be a fantastic project for doing while listening & taking notes. Vests for everyone! (Although actually after this I’ll probably start on more socks.)

Went out to dinner last night with two total strangers, and had a great time. (Slogan of the evening: thanks for the guac, Hallmark!) It was fun to get out, to talk about professional stuff with new people. It’s funny, in this crowd I feel more like a techie, more like a programmer, whereas in almost any other tech event, I feel like only a semi-programmer, if that makes any sense. It’s all relative? Or at least it’s all imposter syndrome. (I also have related thoughts about gender and the difference between Confab & other conferences I’ve been to, but I’m not ready to articulate them yet.) But at the same time as all that, I’m feeling REALLY good about how our team is doing at work. Not that we don’t have lots still to learn & do, but we’re in a good place and doing great stuff. I’m also more convinced than ever that an iterative design/development/content approach is the right thing, that big ta-da style relaunches are more trouble than they’re worth. I know it can’t last forever, but right now things are good.

And after spending the last day explaining Evergreen in person to a bunch of people, I feel even more strongly about what the college does and is, and how special it is.

But I really do need to get back to the hotel and get a new key and go get my name badge. :\