August 5th, 2005

buzzed, B&W

Long days

So why am I an idiot? It's now 2:46 AM in Washington, D.C. (Realistically it's only 12:46 back in MT).

Anyway, the National Conference on Volunteering and Service has been pretty interesting. The conference Kicked off Thursday morning with a 2 hour opening session. Jon Bon Jovi was there - which is why Steph insisted that we had to get there early to get good seats. Bon Jovi was probably less than 50 feet away from where I was sitting. The sessions have been mixed, with some good, and some bad, which is to be expected. One of them was basic enough, that I spent the majority of the time writing a note to Mel.

This evening was long, as there was a reception at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Kind of a neat deal as they had food and drink scattered throughout the building. The surprise was that the drinks were free . . . not that they had any good beer, but still. Afterward, we took a moonlight monument tour. I ended up dozing off for about 30 minutes on the bus. After that, we got back to the hotel around 11:20, and went to the sports bar in the hotel, shot some pool, and drank a yard and a pint of beer. For some reason, after I walked Shannon back to her hotel, we decided it'd be a good idea to get another drink. So we had another pint (Foggy Bottom, which wasn't bad), and since the bartender accidentally poured an extra pint, Shannon and I split a third one.

The bar was closing down, so then I ran into some people in the hotel lobby, who are apparently with the Teacher's College at Columbia through some Peace Corps teacher certification program, and got into a long conversation about educational reform. I ended up talking with them till like 2:30, which was much later than I needed to . . . a walk back to the hotel, and now I'm babbling here . . .
buzzed, B&W

National Conference, Part II

There have been some pretty impressive people that I've gotten to hear at this conference. Bob Woodson, founder of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise gave a great talk during the opening yesterday. David Lauren, Senior VP of Advertising, Marketing, and Corporate Communications with Polo Ralph Lauren (and Ralph Lauren's son) gave a strong talk about the Polo G.I.V.E. campaign. While it's really just a drop in the bucket for a company the size of Polo, it's nice to see them pushing such a huge ad campaign that focuses on how important civic engagement is. And you can't complain about the fact that some of the models in the campaign are AmeriCorps members. They've also got TFA members, and some pretty amazing people who've founded non-profits and the like. The fact that the page is Flash-based is rather annoying though . . .

They were also presenting corporate awards, and I was really impressed that Federated had sent their CEO to accept the award. Thomas Kinkade was also here yesterday.

Lunch was pretty amazing - an excellent salmon salad with fresh spinach, caramelized red onions, sauteed mushrooms, and other goodies. Everything was served cold, and it had a sweet vinagerette dressing. The salmon was some of the best salmon I've had, cooked just right.

Tonight we've got several different receptions we want to try and make appearances at (Voices for National Service, AmeriCorps Alums (and let me say, I hate that they're using "alums" rather than the proper plural form), and maybe even the New Mexico state commission), and then tomorrow we're supposed to hear from Mike Leavitt and Mark Victor Hansen. Neither of the speakers impress me, but they're both pretty well know, being the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, respectively.

Oh well . . . time to go find the gang before heading to the reception . . .