Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Pre-Conference Workshop...

I had yesterday morning "off," so I scheduled a much-needed pedicure and manicure for myself. It was lovely.

Over a year ago, I expressed an interest in presenting a session at this conference on supporting mothers on active duty in the military. Even though my personal experience is unique, I feel I have a lot ot offer to Leaders who support mothers in the military. I was not contacted to present, so I signed up for the session that was being offered as a pre-conference workshop (4 hours) on "Supporting the Unique Needs of Military Mothers." I was looking forward to meeting the presenter, who has been very active and instrumental in enacting policy changes in the Department of Defense. I was also enjoying the freedom of going to a conference and not presenting a session...I've (happily) presented a session at every conference I've attended since my first in 2005.

About 70 minutes before the session was to begin, I received a cell phone call from an unfamiliar number. It was a member of the conference committee, asking if I could possibly present the session, because the originally engaged speaker could not be here.

Horrified, I heard myself answer "sure. I was going to be there anyway..."

I had no outline, no handouts, only a frantically moving brain that chugged and whirred in an effort to put together everything I thought needed to be covered in such a session (which was being co-presented and shared with the "Making Breastfeeding Work at Work" presenter.

People keep asking me how the session went. Really, I don't know for sure. I know I did a lot of talking, told a lot of stories, made a lot of what I hope were coherent and clear points. The 2nd half of the session was more discussion-based, which I preferred. I hope the participants got what they came for. I don't suppose I'll ever really know for sure, as there are no evaluations (unless people are really angry and ask for their money back and I catch wind of the negative feedback that way!).

I enjoyed myself. It was certainly not a typical conference experience, but I'm learning that very little in my life is typical!

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