Okay, now that I have that out of the way. The phrase "drinking water out of a fire hose" seems to be a fitting one to describe the content and structure of this conference. I opted out of the plenary (I'll go back for the CD). Here's why:
8:20a-8:30a - follow up with somone I met yesterday
8:30a-10am - Plenary
10:15a -11:45a - workshop
11:45a - 12p - talk with Z author
12:00p - 1:45p - lunch plenary, sat by Z authors
2:00p - 3:3op - workshop
3:15pm - 3:30p - talked with aspiring Z author
3:30p - 4:00p - met with Z author
4pm - 5:30pm - plenary
5:45p - 6:30p - workshop (on blogging!)
6:30p - 7:00p - meet with Z author
7:00pm - 9:30pm - banquet with Z authors
If i followed my assigned schedule, I would have exactly 45 unscheduled minutes between 8 this morning and 9:30 tonight. Not a lot of time for breaks, nature calls, meeting folks or entering a blog date. So before I head back into the fray, a few more thoughts.
* I wish this conference had a bit more spacing to allow time for conversations with the people you meet in your sessions.
* Last night: Dave & Claudia Arp were awarded an Impact Award for their 10 Great Dates program, which Diane Sollee (the director) introduced as "the most widely used marriage education program." This is not only a great program for marriage ed, but it's also a wonderful outreach tool for churches, not only within the lcoal body but also within the community. Within the church, the program offers an opportunity to bring generations together when teens, singles and "more mature" adults offer free babysitting, which is a great service to young families in the community.
* Last night: Linda Waite, author of The Case for Marriage, offered more research to show how married people are healthier and live longer than singles, widowed and especially divorced (who fared worse in every measureable category). The interesting wrinkle is the new data that compared always married (one marriage) v. remarried (via divorce). The research showed a significant health benefit (physical and emotional) when couple stayed married to their first spouse. I was able to meet Linda after her session, an honored as I quote work in Generation Ex.
* Last night: Terry Hargrave issued "The Challenge of the Decade." Terry is the author of Loving Your Parents When they Can No Longer Love You. So what is the challenge of the decade? Caring for aging parents. Terry offers so sobering information about what's ahead as baby boomers enter retirement to start their new job as primary caregivers to their aging parents. He proposed a new model of caregiving: one caregiver for efficiency, and one caregiver support team to care for the caregiver. Sobering stuff.
Oy...gotta run again...more later. People of faith, prayers for endurance are appreciated!