Posts Tagged ‘Conferences’

Posted on August 4, 2009

I wanted to take a moment to give everyone a heads up on the coolness that happened during the “Get Stuff Done” Conference that I held online last weekend.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to do lessons on both days as I originally planned.  I was called away on business and had to fly out on Sunday afternoon, leaving only Saturday for classes.  Here’s the lessons that I presented:

Leadership 101 (How to Fake Being A Well-Rounded Person):  The attendees learned the importance of self-knowledge, especially when it comes to their own strengths and talents. I walked through a couple of ways that the attendees could assess their personal strengths and identify the strengths of others. The idea of “faking” being a well rounded individual is to understand where you are strong, find those areas where you are not strong, and build a core team of people who are strong where you are weak.  Thus, by working together, everyone on the team can “fake” being well-rounded :)

Team Building 101 (”Who Is Supposed To Be The @&^!% Healer???”):  The attendees continued to learn the importance understanding one’s own strengths and the strengths of their peers.  In addition, they also learned different exercises that could be used to change a group of people that share the same goal to a cohesive and effective team.

Project Planning 101  (”How To Turn  Your Idea For A Cool Party… Into A Freaking Cool Party!”):  The attendees learned about how to effectively develop a goal and put together a plan on how they plan to bring said goal to fruition. Most of the exercises focused on the actual goal development and analyzing themselves and the environment around them to see how each would impact what they want to accomplish.

After the third session, the four of us (me + the 3 attendees), had a post-event chat session where we talked about the pluses and minuses of being leaders and coordinators within our respective communities. 

I don’t know if it’s a personality or generational thing (we ranged from early 20’s to 35 – so a mix of the Gen X & Y demographics), but there was a LOT of frustration when it came to being a young poly leader.  The interesting thing is that the stress wasn’t coming from the outside (media and other non-poly sources), but rather from the haphazard attempts of good-intentioned colleagues, as well as the complacency of the majority of the polyfolks within our respective communities.  

The question that we are now trying to answer is how to engage the young, hopefuly poly’s that want to become an active part of the national community without having them fall through the cracks of bureaucracy and busyness. 

The fruits of our discussions will probably be posted here. Let’s just say that we’re possibly putting together a leadership/mentorship program :)

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Posted on April 26, 2009

I recently attended the Bisexual Empowerment Conference: A Uniting, Supportive Experience (BECAUSE) 2009.  The theme for this year was taking a look at Images in the Media and Art of Gender Expression and Sexuality (IMAGES). 

Sadly, I missed the keynote presentation by Robyn Ochs. Fortunately, one of my friends recorded the presentation and I’ll be able to listen to it soon. 

Despite being tired and undercaffinated, I spent most of the conference rushing between workshops and panels. I kept finding myself staying late in order to talk to the presenter or other attendees, only to realize I was late for the next workshop.  In some of those cases, the people I was talking to were also going to the same workshop I was.  :)   I also attended the evening cabaret, which was a blast.  I went into total fangirl mode over one of the drag kings that performed.  Even when using a sock puppet for a duet singer, Fox Smoulder is hot!

Some of you may be wondering why I would attend a conference on bisexuality.  The main reason is that several of my friends within the polyamorous community are bisexuals. I wanted to learn more about how I could help in becoming an ally for acceptance.  In addition to this, I am interested in understanding more about bisexuality and gender identity issues on an academic and personal level. 

For me, being heterosexual means only feeling inclined to have sexual intercourse with members of the opposite gender. While there are some women that I find attractive, and would consider expressing my attraction through flirting and courtship, I do not see myself progressing beyond that point.  It’s difficult for me to imagine myself having sex with another woman.   There are those that may say that I’m bisexual because of my ability to feel attraction towards both genders, even if it’s not to the same degree.  I’m not married to any particular label with regards to sexual orientation, nor do I see a need to identify myself with a specific label.

Gender is another topic that interests me – both in how we identify ourselves as well as the way that we express it within cultural and societal contexts.  While I was born female, and identify as female, there are times when I wonder what it would be like to be a male, or to be able to switch between being male and female.  This curiosity was initially piqued when I started watching Ranma 1/2while in high school and college, and developed for the years afterwards as I lurked on various FTM transgender bulletin boards. 

In addition to supporting my friends and seeking additional resources for studying the topic of gender identity, I was also interested in what resources were available for activism in general. I attended two panels during the morning that dealt with that topic – one in defining what it meant to be an “ally” to a movement, and another on the how-to’s of community organizing.

I left the conference with a lot of information and a few more friends and contacts. Overall, I felt that the experience was valuable, not only because of the resources and connections that I gained, but also in getting ideas on what to do if and when my group is able to host a conference on polyamory in the future :)

My Current Tweet-Status:

  • Back from Farmer's Market runs. Plus-side: they're around for 1 more month. Downside - running out of freezer space 1 day ago
  • Need to organize my library again. And get a new bookshelf. And update my #librarything and #goodreads list. And avoid B&N for awhile >.< 1 day ago
  • Doing a geek-out date night with the hubby tonight. What to do - video games? Gaming store visit? Museum? Hmm... 1 day ago
  • Being a homebody tonight. Pullin out the semi-classic video games (X-Box and Playstation 2) 2 days ago
  • More updates...

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