What was I thinking walking out without a jacket or gloves on April 1?

It’s a wonderful conference! Internet User Experience 2008. I’m having a blast! Some of my esteemed co-workers are there with me and they are fun. *Lots* of fellow WCC Internet Professional Program, from current and past classes! They are fun too and it was wonderful to see them all, especially those I haven’t seen for a while. I loved the presentations! They covered a diverse variety of user experience issues related to websites of all descriptions. It was obvious that even the most nervous “I hate talking in front of people” presenters were excited about their topic and I was on the edge of my seat all day. *And* surfing the web *along with them* on my MacBook (more on that in some other post someday). And there was food! And coffee. And beer and wine at the end. Which I did not partake in.

Two things stuck in my craw:

1) A map of Michigan in a power point presentation, showing the cities that User Experience events have taken place in. They’re all southern lower Michigan with an emphasis on The Planet Ann Arbor. That’s all okay and pretty much expected. But I could *not* figger out why the state map showed the Yoop in a greyed out kind of color. I wonder what the presenters from the State of Michigan web world thought of that? They were great presenters and I’ve been using the site to renew license plates for a *long* time and I’ve always been impressed. Maybe one of them quietly told the UPA that Michigan has *two* peninsulas? I hope so. And in my particular Yooper world, there is broadband Internet on the beach! 😉

2) At the end of the day there was a panel debate scheduled to talk about building web sites for different user types, etc. According to the schedule it was to be a “Racous” (uh, raucous) debate and they did correct that in the powerpoint version of the papers they handed out. It wasn’t. At least while I was there. But when they started lumping me in with the octogenarian set and saying that 50-somethings were more likely to be sitting around knitting and therefore, well, read my last post. I raised my hand fist in the air when they opined that 50-somethings “can’t think of anything to blahg about” and yelled out, “EVERY DAY! EVERY DAY!” Really, it was a Grandroobly kind of thing to do. They identified me as an outlier and then Brooke dragged me outta there ’cause it was time for class.

I don’t want to start an international incident here. The first issue is a kind of lockstep familiar thing. ‘nother post. The second thing, I’m just not sure about. Why the heck did it stick in my craw? The comparison was between baby boomers and their millennium gen (or whatever they call it) children. Actually, it’s a subject that I am greatly interested in. I think my anger was the visceral anger of a person who has [almost] *always* had to prove herself. When I was young, thin, blonde, and Yooper, I had to prove that I *had* a brain. Now, I have to prove that my brain still works. In this case, to a panel of people, one or two of whom I think *are* “boomers”, who have identified me as an outlier. Sigh. And anyone who thinks that knitting is a mindless activity needs to visit for a bit with a knitter or two. Of all ages.

Okay, got that off my chest. I’m going back there tomorrow for more fun and it will be fun and I will not forget my jacket and gloves again. Forget? Me? Forget? Duh. Say what? Speak slowly, I’m blonde. Sigh.

One Response to “What was I thinking walking out without a jacket or gloves on April 1?”

  1. Valdemort Says:

    Good point RE the post title. Mother Nature played the biggest April Fool’s joke on us all – it was nice this morning, albeit windy. Come a bit into the day and it was windy and COLD!

    #$%@ cold fronts . . .