Returning home from the HAPS Annual Conference in Jacksonville, I am trying to ride the high for as long as possible (though I’m definitely appreciating being back on West Coast time) . It was an amazing week, as usual, filled with meaningful conversations and fun, committed people. It was particularly inspiring to observe the unique camaraderie between HAPSters. I continue to be a little star struck by the A&P celebrities who are HAPSters and find it so lovely that in spite of celebrity status, these A&P superstars are completely committed to sharing their expertise and passion with anyone who is interested.
Multiple times, I suddenly found myself unknowingly (and rather clumsily) in the presence of GREATNESS. For example, the last workshop session I attended was entitled “Regional Anatomy for Undergraduate Students” with Mark Nielson and Robert Tallitsch. I was glued to the presentation. Somewhere in the middle, Mark Nielson said something along the lines of “…and you all know what I do in my anatomy lab.” I hesitated as the people around me nodded knowingly, then engaged in an internal debate…do I ask him what he’s talking about, or do I pretend that I (like everyone else) already know? Not known for social grace, I opted for the honest approach and raised my hand and asked Mark, “What exactly DO you do in your lab?”
Well, let’s just say the room got really quiet and everyone turned to stare at me and one brave soul informed me that all the cadaver images in my textbooks? Well, those came from the work Mark does in his Anatomy lab. Oh. That. So I guess I DO know what Mark does in his lab. Ahem.
But instead of feeling disrespected by my ignorance, Mark proceeded to offer to SHARE his amazing resources with me, a baby anatomy instructor. Seriously? Of all the incredible workshops I attended, I was most moved by the spirit of COMMUNITY present in this one. It just captured the essence of HAPS and made me feel so grateful to be part of this organization. I’ve started my countdown to the 2015 Annual Conference in San Antonio…only 11 months and 3 weeks to go.