Well, I'm not sure how qualified I am to blog about today's part of the conference, since I only went to the keynote and then skipped out on the rest of the sessions to pack, check out, and then, um, head to the mall across the street. I guess I was just all conferenced out. (But I did enjoy the mall, and got a present for Mr. Jane, so it's not all bad.)
The keynote this morning was pretty interesting. I had no idea that iRobot (makers of the Roomba) (a) had so many products and (b) was also in the military market. Helen Greiner's talk was interesting and funny, but she got one question at the end about ethics that I wish she had answered more effectively. (basically, the question was her opinion on people using their technology for evil rather than good.) Plus, we got coupons! Free stuff is always good.
Overall, I think I got more out of this conference than I did out of the last one. I think this is because I felt I networked much more effectively at this conference. Maybe because I've been in my present position longer and feel more comfortable/established? Maybe because the further I get in my career, the more fearless I get about approaching people I don't know, and in general feel more comfortable in my own skin? Maybe a bit of both. But I feel like I made more lasting connections at this conference than I did at the last.
The undergrads I brought did wonderfully here---I overheard them talking to a recruiter today and they were asking excellent, articulate questions; and they've been telling me stories all during the conference about talking to people in industry about their jobs, etc. They definitely had a great experience, and I'm hoping I can harness their newfound energies once we all get back to campus.
I'm also hoping that I can harness some of the energy I've gotten from this conference as well---to continue what I'm doing on my own campus, even when it's not supported; to continue to perservere to make things better, even when it seems rather bleak. I've seen the future here, and I want that future to be everywhere.
And now, back to our regularly-scheduled lives.