Saturday, May 22, 2010

See Change Conference

So, this post has been a long time coming. Too much info to cover, too little time.

I spent May 20-22 at the first annual See Change conference that was held at the University of Minnesota. It was an amazing array of speakers- very inspiring. My notes (now two months old) of course seem a little more abstract than when I took them, but I'll include my favorite quotes amongst the reviews.

After a tasty dinner of pasta cakes (what are pasta cakes?! I'm not sure what they are, but I'm telling you, delisch) and grilled veggies, Nigel Holmes kicked off the conference as the keynote speaker. I should have known that I would love this guy after he was introduced as looking a lot like Harry Potter (it's true- and all in the glasses). Not only did he walk through the fountain in McNamara Alumni Center, dress up as a Cave Person and spit mud all over (all crazy antics to prove various points) but he was a fantastic speaker.

Friday started off with some dance. Yes, dance. James Sewell, longtime respected dancer and choreographer went through several exercises with the crowd (ahh, now I know why they put this guy first- to wake us up!) My favorite were what he called body puzzles- along the lines of patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time (which I excel at, btw).

For example (try this at your desk, your office neighbors will think you're crazy, but you'll see how difficult these moves are): take your left hand and make circles through the air in front of you (like a mime). Now, take your right hand and make a square in the air in front of you. Take a look at your left hand- is it still making circles? Mine sure wasn't. All of the sudden my left hand was doing more of stop sign motion.... After this exercise we were treated with a beautiful performance from James, where he not only mastered the above motion (and more!), but made it look effortless.... show off.

From there we danced right on to learning all about Alphabeasties. Sharon Werner, of Werner Design Werks, discussed the "accidental childrens book.''''

Kwaku Alston
There's nothing crazier than going to a conference and realizing that you already know the work of the speaker- it's a great feeling for everyone involved.

Its seemed as though lots of these speakers had worked together, but I know as much as everyone, it's all who you know.

In an attempt to move along and keep blogging current news (now two months later), I'm going to cut myself off (perhaps to elaborate at another time), but be sure to check out the other speakers we were graced with. Truly amazing people.

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