I am so excited! I just got approval from my college to attend the Annual HAPS Conference this coming May in Jacksonville, Florida.
Wow, this will be my first time to a HAPS conference. I had been a lurker on the list-serv for four years and finally built up enough courage to reply to some of the queries and post a question of my own. Wow, the response was incredible. The sharing of ideas, experiences, and perspectives was amazing. After a year, I decided that I needed to meet some of these people in person.
On the HAPS website, I read about the upcoming annual conference in Jacksonville. I decided to submit a proposal for a workshop and took that proposal to my division dean. She just came back with approval for me to go to the conference, with partial support for expenses. I’m applying for one of the HAPS scholarships; keep your fingers crossed!
Now, I’ve got to figure out everything that I’ll need for the conference. I’m already seeing some people post on the list-serv, looking for roommates. That’ll be a good way to save money and a great way to meet someone new. The conference will start on a Saturday evening with a welcome mixer at the Riverfront Hyatt. Someone named Tom Lehman is organizing a t-shirt swap; I need to check with our Marketing Department and get a shirt to swap.
Checking out the chamber of commerce website, I see that there’s a great boardwalk in front of the hotel. I’ll make sure to pack my running shoes for some morning jogs. The Sunday itinerary starts with the First-Timer’s breakfast. Cool! I’ll get to meet several other newbies like me and enjoy breakfast with previous presidents of HAPS. The rest of the day will be attending Update Seminars and checking out the Exhibitor’s Hall. Wow, I hear that several of the authors of the textbooks and lab manuals that I use will be there. How cool is that?!
The Steering Committee is organizing a Scavenger Hunt. I’ll need to review through the pictures of the Chairs on the APP so I can get my scavenger hunt card filled out. All of the completers go into a drawing for a free conference registration to the next year’s conference in San Antonio. Whoa! I’m excited to meet other First-Timers and work together to find everyone. It looks like we’re on our own for lunch; that’ll be a great time to get to know other HAPS members – I mean, HAPSters! I’m a HAPSter!
Monday will start with the HAPS Foundation 5K Run. That’ll be a great way to start the morning, with plenty of time to still make the Business meeting and be part of the legislative process. More seminars and vendors; lots to keep me busy!
Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll have workshops at Florida State College. I’m excited to give my workshop and see what others think. I’m also amazed at the description of some of the other workshops that I can attend. Wow, here’s a neat one on histology that I can really use. Here’s one on flipping the classroom; been curious to learn more about that idea. Oh wow, here’s one on cadaver labs. Oh man, there is so much to choose from!
I just found out that a Jazz Festival will be going on that first weekend on the Riverfront. Oh, seriously too cool! I know where I’ll be in the evenings. I bet a lot of other HAPSters will be there, too. Awesome!
The Atlantic Beach is twenty-five minutes from the hotel. A friend told me to check out the Ragtime Tavern for really good coconut shrimp. Hmm…have to find some time to get out there and check it out.
Apparently, there’s an optional Disney package that I can check out. Unfortunately, I won’t have time for that, but I do want to check out the other Thursday trips offered the day after the conference.
Holy crap, there’s just too much to do! I am so excited; I can’t believe that I have to wait five months for the conference. Oh well, that’s okay. I’m curious to check out the list-serv after Winter break and see if anyone has advice on things to do or see while in JAX. I wonder if anyone in HAPS likes baseball or microbreweries. I cannot wait to find out!