Well, I woke up at 6:30 in the morning on Friday, which turned out to be a bad idea: I’d only managed to get about 5 hours of sleep (maybe less?) and the pattern continued/disintegrated throughout the rest of the weekend. The reason I woke up at this horrible, horrible time was to go running with Leslie around the track. Which was good, I suppose. Woke me up at first….
Anyway, around 7:45 I headed down to the lobby to pick up breakfast (a smoothie) from Leslie and then to head over to the Lakeside Green Lounge to buy coffee and go to the Conference Newbies Intersection. I was a little shy at first, but Jen had done up a bingo that pretty much required you to meet and talk to people, so it ended up being really fun. Then we all kind of headed up to our various floors to go to programming….I changed my mind at the last minute not to go to the Compendium Submissions presentation but rather to go to a roundtable about the trio. I don’t know how the presentation would’ve been, but the roundtable was great! It started my weekend love for roundtables….and this continued to the roundtable I went to on Neville later at 11:00 (I had a break from 10-10:45 to go get Leslie). The roundtables are amazing because everyone gets the chance to speak and join in the discussion. People are interested in what you have to say and never tell you that you’re wrong or your opinion is bad. I love having discussions, which is why I’m on the Lounge, and it was really nice to be able to hear someone respond to your comments immediately instead of waiting until the next time someone got online. Both roundtables were fascinating: I contributed a lot to both and got new perspectives and ideas from both of them.
At noon I went to Cheryl Klein’s keynote presentation. First we all ate lunch, which was phenomenal: really good cheesy pasta that I mixed red peppers into, salad, and amazing carrot cake. I got into talking to several of the other people at our table, including one woman from Denver. I don’t know exactly how long it was until Cheryl started speaking….maybe 30 minutes during which we all ate the amazing lunch and talked. But Cheryl’s presentation was AMAZING!!!!! I thoroughly enjoyed learning her journey with the Potter books/phenomenon, and she was really sweet, too. Another great thing is that she managed to include a relatively large amount of jokes in the presentation, so it was light-hearted, not just serious “these are the facts.” I talked to her afterwards a little bit…Then I got a picture with Melissa (=]) and Lisa (who I was super glad to finally meet after talking to her online since last July!)
Well, in the afternoon we went around Chicago with Mary Rose…and I’ll be completely honest in saying that it wasn’t super exciting. We walked over to the Shedd Aquarium, deemed it much too expensive to spend only 3 and a half hours at, and then walked back over to Grant Park. We walked to Walgreens to buy cards and sharpies (yes, random) and then back over to a café to play Egyptian Rat Slap until 5:00 when the Chicago Art Institute would be free. There, we saw some African art and….well, I don’t remember exactly, but some fairly famous paintings as well. And we ate at a Thai restaurant: I had curry, which tasted amazing!!!!
Once back at the hotel, I headed over to the International Ballroom because I thought the North Star started at 7:00, but it didn’t start until 8:00 so I talked to people my age for the first time…Maggie, Sophie, Melanie, and Mike. The North Star was pretty interesting because it presented views and ideas on the fandom from a very diverse amount of people. Plus, the Whomping Willows and Draco and the Malfoys played in between the segments!!!! Squee!!!! I think the main thing I treasured about the North Star was that it was when I really formed my first friendships: Mike, Shoshana, Cody, Julia, Maggie, and Sophie. Which was really nice. =] But the wizard rock was a definite bonus!
Erm….well, I got back to the hotel room probably around 12:30 (oops), took a shower, and finished up my PowerPoint. It was probably about 2 in the morning by the time I got in bed, and another 30 minutes to an hour before I actually fell asleep. So….4 and a half hours of sleep! Yay!