I have almost caught up on everything since returning from the International Reading Association convention in Chicago (especially sleep). It was much better than I anticipated.
Usually the convention starts on Saturday with a reading research conference followed by day-long institutes on Sundays. Both events require separate registration–the institutes cost $115 this year and I think the research conference last year was around $260. Since I have been attending the conventions, the regular convention lasted from Monday to Thursday. This year, the entire convention was shortened by two days going from Sunday to Wednesday only. The Saturday research conference was free, but it was crammed into the regular convention portion. There seemed to be the same amount of session choices typically offered in six days, but they were jam packed into four. This meant there were several sessions I wanted to attend during each block of time–more so than usual. Since I cannot be in two places at the same time, I had to miss several sessions I wanted to attend.
Overall, I was not that happy with the itinerary I created. I went to Chicago believing that this might be my least favorite convention of all-time. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Almost every single session exceeded my expectations. In fact, only one session disappointed me and that was a last minute add-on.
In my previous post, Why You Should Attend an International Reading Association Convention, I discussed how I create a spreadsheet for my itinerary because I can do much more in a spreadsheet than I can by using the online planner. In a spreadsheet, I can highlight speakers, session types, etc., as well as write notes, show alternative plans, and more. As I mentioned in that post, room location can be a determining factor–especially in a large convention center, so I like that to be prominent. Here is what I brought to Chicago with me last week: IRA – Chicago 2010 – Itinerary
Note: The Poetry Olio was actually on Monday and the Informal Storytelling Event was on Tuesday.
Although this convention was shortened, and I went in with a bit of a negative attitude, I must say that I left the convention physically and mentally exhausted, but extremely happy, too! I learned so much and I cannot wait to share my new knowledge and my new TWRCs with you.
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