Wednesday, July 12, 2006
SENG Conference - Part 1
This was my first academic conference as a presenter, and my first gifted conference - I have attended many software junkets before. It was a highly ironic experience and I'm still giggling about it at random moments. Despite this conference being specifically about Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), the environment and program of the conference was the antithesis of everything the presenters were talking about!
It was held in the Hilton Irvine, which while very nice, is right across the street from the airport (read: NOISY) and surrounded by other hotels. Lots of concrete and pavement and plants manicured within an inch of their lives. I was on foot and couldn't find any interesting restaurants or shops or museums anywhere nearby. I was almost in a state of sensory deprivation by the time I left - certainly cultural deprivation.
In addition, the conference structure did not seem to take into account the increased sensitivity and predominantly introverted nature of the gifted population. There were several large meetings over meals that were very loud and confusing, as well as regular hotel lighting and the type of room where the temperature is difficult to moderate. I took a couple of long breaks to regain energy alone in my hotel room, but that also meant I had to miss something.
I will be opening a discussion on this on the SENG message boards, as well as sharing my impressions here. The hope is that my perspective can add to the impact of this volunteer organization. There's a lot more to say....to be continued....
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