Sunday, January 30, 2011

AFSP Leadership Conference Debrief

I love conferences and I love meeting new people. If only I could make a career out of my grown-up version of Sorority Rush. Plus, I love learning new stuff (that I'm interested in - not boring stuff like astronomy). Plus, I love getting new creative ideas that I will eventually steal and call my own. So spending the weekend schmoozing at a conference in San Diego where it's sunny and warm (except for the 3 days I was there, of course) ranks right up there with a scrapbooking getaway weekend, which is only slightly below a Hollywood stalking event. Anyway, here's my somewhat incomplete review. In other words, I started keeping notes and then - squirrel.

Thumbs down:
  • Finance in a general session first thing Saturday morning. Yaaawwwwwn.
  • Brain disease research, with pictures, right before lunch. BLE: "Here's our brain stem friend." Yummy, now what's for lunch?
  • Reading PPT slides. Uber-pet peeve of mine.

Thumbs up:
  • Sitting (and getting a picture) with Wade Hanson from Season 10 of The Apprentice. Okay, I know I'm stretching the definition, but I think we all know by now that I'll take a celebrity sighting in any way, shape, or form. I am not proud of this.
  • Lunch with a real live brain surgeon (Dr. Victoria Arango). I'm pretty sure I'm smarter by osmosis now.
  • Watching the super-awesome peeps from AFSP-Indiana win all kinds of awards.
  • "Carnival of Ideas" open house, with wine and cheese. And not only do all the different chapters share their ideas, but they encourage you to steal them. It's a win-win! As our big boss said, "I've never had an original idea in my life, but I'm a good thief." He even stole those words right out of my mouth.
  • Trees and shoes. Not only do I love this as a memorial, but it's all kinds of crafty goodness.
  • Quilts, quilts, and more quilts. My favorite is the one that's made in individual squares that can be unbuttoned and rearranged.

Blunder of the day: 
As I tripped over my bag/purse/books underneath my chair for the 15th time, I blurted out, "Jees, I'm gonna kill myself tripping over this stuff" except that's not how it came out. I inadvertently inserted a pause after "myself" as I was in mid-trip. Cue gasp.

PSA - The More You Know:
  • Depression is a disease of the brain just like asthma is a disease of the lungs. The brain is an organ just like the lungs, heart, liver, etc.
  • Suicide is the result of a diseased brain. Bullying, stress, etc., are triggers, not causes.
  • The correct word for a death by hanging is hanged, not hung. "He hanged himself" not "he hung himself".
  • The phrase “committed suicide” is NOT should say “died of suicide” instead. (Would you say "he committed cancer"? No, of course not.) People commit crimes. Suicide is not a crime. Period. 
  • If you're interested in reading the latest articles about suicide prevention and mental illness, check out Normal Is a Setting on a Washing Machine.
And now to lighten the mood, here's a picture of our boss and our Board president in the hotel bar. Nope, not even a costume theme party. Normally I would say, "Oh those crazy kids", but that falls into the "things not to say while surrounded by mental health peeps" category. Finally, I must close with a picture of our fabulous AFSP SoCal crew. Basically the whole weekend was just one big hot dish of fabulousness.

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