its been a busy, crazy, overwhelming, exhausting but mostly fantastic week, much much more successful than i’d anticipated. i should have known it was off to a good start when the flight down was on time and there was a skybus waiting right there and we were in the city in about 15 minutes
and when i got to the hotel they upgraded me to a deluxe room
with this amazing view of the yarra river looking up over southbank and towards the city centre
and then down past evil crown casino and right across from the convention and exhibition centre, which was the conference venue.
i settled in and then met up with another UoW person who was presenting at the conference and a couple of our students and we wandered up southbank for dinner
i slept pretty well that night in my king size bed with the feather pillows!
tuesday was my presentation day so i had a light breakfast and walked down to the convention centre which was completely taken over by our conference
apparently there were more than 4000 participants which was a little overwhelming. this is probably the biggest nursing conference in the world, it was the international council of nurses congress and there were literally people from ALL OVER THE WORLD.
its very humbling. and we all know im not a nurse, i was there to talk about the role of nursing history in the bachelor of nursing curriculum and when i saw who else was in my session and who was the chair i freaked out a bit. i also freaked out when some really big names in nursing history walked in. as if the size of the screen wasnt freaky enough.
anyway, it was a great session, the other three papers were great, and i went last, and i was half way through my talk and getting lots of engagement from the audience, and i said something about history being reflective practice and suddenly people just started applauding, and i was like what?? what did i say?! it was kind of funny, im sure i went bright red and wanted to crawl under the lectern. but i carried on regardless, and managed to finish in time, and i got so many great comments afterwards, people asking for my card, lots of congratulations. someone tweeted that it was the best paper at the conference (i really seriously doubt that). then i had a quiet chat with julie from UPenn and we talked about what i wanted to do next and how they would like to support me. im not going to say more than that, there is paperwork to do and formal processes to be followed. but im hoping i will be back in philadelphia sooner rather than later.
then i hung out with some of the history people and we swapped ideas and talked about possible collaborations and it was such a great feeling, to be among my own kind, to be able to talk about concepts that people just got, and to throw ideas around and to gossip about who else was doing what… there is nothing quite like the feeling of intellectual camaraderie.
also, i was really thrilled that two of my knitter peeps, who are also smarty pants academic people, one of whom was also presenting at the conference, came to my session, and i caught up with them later that night for a special celebratory dinner at movida aqui.
i cant even begin to tell you how great it was. fantastic spanish tapas: sardines, jamon, wagyu, prawns, char grilled brussel sprouts in a proscuitto and mushroom sauce, house smoked salmon to die for, potato and chorizo bombs. and then dessert: churros and hot chocolate sauce, salted creme caramel and pedro ximenez trifle with apple and quince. ah ha. oh and virgin mojitos. nice. also, it was great to go out with people i know from knitting but be able to talk about work, and what’s happening in australian universities at the moment, and to get lots of ideas from both of them about innovative approaches to learning design for the reflective practice (or is that reflexive?!) subject im teaching next session. it was really the highlight of the week, to be honest. when i got back to my room the fire things along southbank were going off, it was like someone was saying ‘here kylie have a superfantastic end to your superfantastic day’!
wednesday morning dawned with an amazing sunrise over the yarra, we dont get them like this on the coast,
and then it turned into a sunny day, for about 10 minutes (typical melbourne). i had to pop down to the conference venue briefly
and do a bit of running around for my boss, who was coming down that night for a workshop we were running on thursday (it was boring, i couldnt wait to get home) and then i had some time to myself which included lunch at southbank
and a slow walk across the river through the autumn trees
coffee in degraves st,
browsing shoe shops in laneways
and popping into one or two craft shops for a few supplies: knitting
and for the quilt im not working on.
the paper wrapped pieces in the middle are what i just bought at l’ucello, to match up with the bundles i got at brooklyn general store (left) and purl soho in NYC (right) , and some odd bits from l’ucello when jane and i were there in november (at the back). i think you can see a colour scheme start to come together…i think it needs some more dark blocks. the intention is to make this quilt to celebrate this year, my 45th (i will be 45 in october) with reminders of some of the places i’ve been, the moments i’ve had, the people i’ve met. im not in a hurry, just waiting for the right pieces to find their way to me.
i got home late last night after a few flight delays and a 40 minute holding pattern over storm riddled sydney. it was such a joy to come home to my little puppy, who is not so little anymore
i did not like being away from her very much at all. i have some archive visits coming up and i dont want to leave her again. but she had a great time with trent and his family and the other two dogs, and its lovely to know shes got two homes and is so well loved everywhere. she also learnt a few manners while she was away. i must try not to ruin her again!
so now im writing a history lecture for class next week, then i need to turn the conference paper into a journal article, and the fulbright applications are open and i have the archive visits to plan, with ideas for at least 3 papers from them, and all the people to email back about other ideas, and books and papers to read and my project moodle to finish and the subject moodle for my big course next session to work on as well.
did someone say superfantastic?!