Last Friday, I went to Mississippi State University to attend an E-Journal workshop. I won't go into too many details (if you're interested, check out the Mesoj blog entries on it, here, here and here), but it was a great day. This is the second year I've attended, and both years were great.
The day didn't start off so perfectly, though. Half of the MSU Campus roads were closed; what should have been an easy drive across campus on a route I took last year turned into 30 minutes of frustration as I tried to get to the correct area of campus. Finally, I parked in a lot and just walked - the roads were insane. I got to the library 5 minutes late (I should have been at least 20 minutes early), and walked in as the 1st speaker started.
Of course, the auditorium was almost packed. There were a few seats available, but I didn't want to walk down the center isle in the middle of a presentation. There were two seats in the back, one on either side. The first - and nearest - was between two women whispering furiously to each other over the empty seat between them. The second was next to someone who was obviously a geek: a MacBook was open on the table with tons of windows open; a cell phone was lying on the table and I thought I glimpsed the earbud cord of an iPod peaking out of the backpack on the floor. Choosing a seat was really an easy decision - give me a geek over whispering women any day!
When I sat down, I was suddenly very sad that I hadn't brought my laptop (There weren't very many people there with laptops - which really surprised me.) I guess it's kinda how when your kids are away and you see someone else having a good time with their kids, it makes you miss your own. But by the end of the day, I was glad I hadn't brought mine - it was 100 degrees when I left, and lugging an 8 pound laptop around in a bag all day would have gotten old. Know what that means? I need a new, lighter laptop. ;)
At the break between the first and second presenters, I met up with a couple of friends who had gotten seats up front. They convinced me to take the open seat in the front row; it wasn't hard to talk me into it - the next speaker was Michael Stephens, and he was one of the reasons I really wanted to go this year. His blog is awesome (if you're really into libraries and emerging technologies, that is), and I'd heard that he's a great presenter. So I happily transfered my stuff to the up-close-and-personal spot right in front of the podium.
And whaddya know, the guy that got up and started speaking was the geek I had ended up sitting next to because I was late.