Monday, August 6, 2007

The Aftermath

Well, I had a good time at the conference. And I didn't get sick, either. Apparently some people did. But I didn't. Just slightly sleep-deprived.

I had a good time overall. I got to meet lots of people and figure out how the conference worked, because I was somewhat behind-the-scenes. That was fun.

It had it's ups and downs, being on the teen staff. I would do it again, though, given the opportunity. But I was glad it was only four days. Any more would have been too much- at least at the rate we were going, simply because we had to get up early, and our freetime was somewhat limited, based on what our schedules were. Sometimes, I had large chunks of freetime, but other times, I had little bits of freetime scattered around. It worked itself out, I guess.

There were times when I had to fill in for other staff members who didn't show up, and that was a bit annoying, especially when it was a last-minute thing. But things had to be done, and someone had to do them.

And that's it, I guess. Thanks for reading (if you did). If you went to the conference, I hope you had as much fun as I did.

~Kayleigh

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Blogging along.

Sorry I haven't blogged in the last couple of days. It's been kind of hectic. I've been doing teen staff stuff and meeting people and helping my mom. And reading Harry Potter, of course. I finished it, naturally. The Harry Potter thing was fun, but it was in a small room and generally geared towards little kids. I just hung out in the hallway and talked to some of the other teens there.

Um. The World Faire was cool. I got oodles of stuff- and I filled my passport. I got stamps from every country, which was fun. But it was at the end of the day, which happened to be the day after Harry Potter came out, so I was exhausted (but I actually only stayed up until one in the morning, as I had to be at a teen staff meeting in the wee hours of the morning) and didn't enjoy it as much as I might have.

Is anyone reading this besides my dad? Just out of curiosity... I'm not actually attending sessions, so I can't post much about those here- although I have checked people's registrations at the CE sessions. We have to make sure that all the people who actually registered for those sessions are able to attend. Nothing personal, if I kept you from coming in.

Oh, I've met several "famous" people- at least, people famous in LLL circles. It's really cool. I look at people's nametags and suddenly I realize who they are, and, "Oh, I've read your book!" Which really doesn't surprise them, as this IS the LLLI conference. But it's still cool to actually meet this people- or at least tell them where to go.

The playroom has been fun. It's probably one of the easiest jobs the teen staff have. All I have to do is make sure that toys are in the right places and fix things that get broken, because the kids are supervised and there are security guards at the door, and they are able to keep kids from running out the door- which doesn't happen all that often, oddly. You'd think it would, with all the kids in there.

There's also a teen lounge. It's okay. I've used it mostly as a place to go that's semi-private, but quiet, as there usually aren't many people there. But if you ever want to know where it is, just ask any of the teen staff- most of us, if not all of us, know where it is. Just for your information.

That's all for now.

Oh, and if you didn't already know, all of the teen staff are wearing blue conference shirts and we have printed nametags. And most of us start randomly stretching our arms and back every once in a while. So it's pretty easy to recognize us.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Working at the Conference

Well, today I started working on the staff of teen volunteers at the Conference. It was pretty interesting- we got a tour around all the Conference areas in the hotel. We also got our schedules- and the shirts- and began our work. I'm not working all of the time, so I get some free time to go look at things. Today, I worked in the bookstore, and n the playroom. That was pretty fun. I got to go in the storage area behind the bookstore, which, while fun at first, isn't all that interesting, to tell you the truth. There are lots of books, though. And in so many languages! It was pretty cool to see the Answer book in Spanish- the other teen volunteer who was helping me was actually from Mexico, which was pretty cool in itself. We were talking about where we lived, and what it was like, and I had a heck of a time converting from Fahrenheit to Celsius. But, with the help of my handy-dandy cell phone calculator, I was able to do it. Turns out, the areas we live in have pretty similar climates in the summer. Small world, I guess.

The playroom is pretty much the most awesome thing I have ever seen. Since the children are supposed to be supervised by their parents or an older sibling (or baby-sitter), the teen staff didn't have to do much. The stuff in there is actually pretty fun- we even liked playing on some of the things there. It's huge, and the TV thing is pretty cool- there's a video camera set up in one part of the room, and there is a TV in another part of the room where you can see what's going on. It's especially fun when the person being filmed doesn't realize it.

And that's pretty much what I've done today. Since I am wearing one of the Conference shirts, I've had lots of people ask me questions. I don't always know what sessions are going on at a given time, or where a specific thing or person can be found, but I do know where most of the rooms are by name, thanks to the tour I got. I still haven't had a chance to get my photos up (they're on my mom's roommate's laptop, and I'm in the tech room), but if you're at the Conference, you'll probably see me around. But if I'm running fast, I probably won't have time to talk- because I'm helping this Conference go.

Kayleigh

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lots of Things to Do

So, today, I did a whole bunch of tourist-y stuff here in Chicago. I'll probably load some pictures later, but I literally just got back from our trek downtown. So that will have to wait.

The first thing we did was go to the Sears Tower- how could we not? We walked there, of course, and on the way, we passed the Chicago Board Stock Exchange (or something along those lines) and saw a bunch of people wearing funny shirts. I'm not kidding. There was this one chap who was wearing what looked like a green lab coat, but it had four purple mesh pockets in the front. Very odd. There was this little deli place on the street, and we stopped to get a bagel with cream cheese for $1.59. It was pretty much the best bagel I've ever had.

When we got to the Sears Tower, we had to buy tickets- if you're over 11 years old, you're an adult, by the way- and we watched a little movie on the history of the Sears Tower. It was pretty nifty. After we watched the movie (which I found interesting, but I'm the girl who reads past the assigned text in class books because I get so into it, so don't trust me), we got into this big elevator. The lady told us that it would take 60 seconds to get to the top, but I timed it, and it was, in fact, 65 seconds. Don't you just love all the little doodad gadgety things they have on cells these days?

The top of the Sears Tower is really fun. We were on the top observation deck, and, while we couldn't see 50 miles (it was foggy), we could see most of Chicago. You can even see the hotel from there. We could also see the roofs of most of the other skyscrapers, and there was this one that had some sort of garden on top- we couldn't tell if it was trees or shrubs or grass, but the point is that there were plants that were deliberately put there.

After we left the Sears Tower, we started walking toward the Art Institute of Chicago. We stopped to get lunch at this Mexican food place we saw. It was cheap, and it was incredibly good. If you want to know where it was, just ask me. They made everything there, too- tortillas, chips, salsa, you name it (by the way, the burritos are HUGE if you order everything on it, so you might not need to get anything else if you go there).

The Art Institute was incredible. My mom's roommate, Sandee, was the one taking me and my sister around town while my mom went to various sessions, and she majored in humanities in college, so she started telling us about all the paintings. But first, we went downstairs and looked at the Thorne Miniature Rooms, which were the most awesome things. Seriously. Apparently, this rich old lady was really into miniature things, and there's all these rooms from different places and different time periods. And when you see them you have to be sure to look all around them, because there's often little rooms off to the side that you can just barely see. The details on all the things are amazing. And it's pretty child-friendly- the rooms are all behind glass, and I saw several children down there looking at the rooms. Te ones that seemed to be having the most fun were between five and twelve years old (I'm not counting the teenagers, because I saw a wide range of interest level there).

And, of course, we saw American Gothic. It was crazy, because everyone knows what it looks like, and it's been spoofed so many times, and the original is just like what you picture it. But we went around this corner and it was just there. That was it. One of the most famous paintings in the US, and I was less than a foot away from it.

And, of course, when we were walking home, there were some people working on the rose gardens in the park across the street from the hotel, and Sandee found a pitchfork that had been left behind. So my sister and I posed with it, even though it had six tines instead of three.

After we left the Art Institute, we had to walk home. We went through Millennium park, which was really cool, because we went through the Cloud Gate (I have pictures that I will post, I promise), and across the BP bridge. We then walked through the park towards the hotel, and across the street, through what I think is a different park (which is the one across the street from the hotel), because we wanted to see this huge fountain that you can, in fact, see from the hotel, and take pictures. There was also this really strong wind blowing (they should call this place the Windy City or something catchy like that, don't you think? Although Breezy Town and Gusty Metropolis have their points as well) and so Sandee and I stood downwind of the fountain (my idea) and let the water drops fall on us, which felt brilliant. And now I'm back at the hotel. Which is pretty cool in itself. Especially with all the LLL people here- they're really from all over the place!

Oh, and I'm in the Tech Room right now. It's technically closed to the general public, but guess what? I'm a Featured Blogger, which apparently means that I can come in here even when other people can't. Which is really cool. Because that means that YOU get to read this.

Although if you have to come in to the Tech Room in order to read this, I guess that means you can't... shame, that. Oh, well. I'm not in charge here. I just work here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Here!

Okay, so I am currently at the hotel. It's pretty sweet. There's people from LLL all over the place. It's crazy- I meentioned to my mom, after we'd talked to a few ladies, that they reminded me a little bit of my mother's mother and some of my mother's sisters, and my mom pointed out that my grandmother was a La Leche League Leader as well. So that much is cool.

The hotel is pretty fun, too. I like the chandeliers and all that, of course, but I mostly like how there are hallways all over the place, like an anthill. And we are the ants, of course- at least, that's how people look outside the window. It's pretty crazy.

I'm not typing this in the tech room, surprisingly. My mom's super cool roommate, Sandee, is letting me use her laptop. I think the tech room is closed right now, but I'm not sure. I'm really not willing to wait for an elevator down to where it is without knowing for sure if it's open. So I get to type this from the comfort of my room.

So, overall, I'm having fun. I start working in a couple days, and that should be fun, too. I registered today, and I got my own badge and bag and everything. It was pretty sweet.

And that's pretty much it. I haven't really done anything else. Except go swimming. Which was fun in itself.

I met some people from Oklahoma in the jacuzzi. Sadly, they weren't here for LLL. There are, like, two other conferences going on right now here. Which is fine, I guess. But the Pampered Chef people have ID badges very similar to the LLL people, so it's very confusing.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Almost there!

Eek! The Conference starts next week! I'm EXTREMELY excited. It's my next big thing to do this summer, so I can finally look at it without worrying about anything that's in the way. My packing will, from now on, be dedicated to going to Chicago, which is, of course, exciting in and of itself. Packing is so much fun- and, yes, I've done a good deal of that in recent times. The thing about packing is that it gets you excited to go someplace. You have to plan all your outfits, know what the weather will be like, what you will be doing, and who you will be hanging out with.

And that's about it for today. I just wanted to post and say that I am excited. And to make it look like I'm actually doing something with this blog. So I don't feel guilty or anything.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Getting Ready

So, I'm back on after a long hiatus... during which school ended and I went on a trip to Alaska, so I didn't really have time to post, what with finals and the fact that if I were lucky enough to get some time on a computer, my priorities were e-mail, Myspace, Facebook, and Mugglenet. Hey, I'm a teenager. Those few sites consist of my online life as far as family, friends, and interests go.

So, as I've said before, I'm looking forward to the Conference. Very much. I am, however, sorry to say that I don't know all that much about what I'll be doing as a teen staff member- specifically, that is. We get our schedules when we get there.

We have the dates set up for when our family will be arriving in and leaving Chicago, but I'm not going to share them here. Internet security and all. I'm sure you understand.

I'm definitely going to do all the silly, touristy stuff in Chicago, when I have the time. It would be a bit of a waste not to. Chicago has all sorts of interesting things to do. I'm not going to list them- if you really want to know, you can look them up, and it's really not my job to advertise tourism in Chicago. I'm supposed to be talking about the conference... hence this being a "Conference Blog."

So that's pretty much it... not much, is it? My mother is the one planning out all the dates and activities outside of the conference... for the conference, the people in charge are planning out what I'll be doing. So I'm just sort of going with the flow here. It's nice, having a set schedule. Especially when other people set it for you. It's like school... but fun!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What I'm Looking Forward To

Okay, this blog is going to be conference-specific. It's about time I did one of these.

So, I'm definitely looking forward to this. I hope you've gotten that general vibe so far- and if you're reading this, you're probably looking forward to the conference as well.

1. I'm looking forward to being on the teen staff. That's honestly going to be a blast. I get to be with other teenagers in the LLL world, and I get to help out with... stuff, in general.

2. As far as specific events go, I'm mostly looking forward to the World Faire. My mom has told me that it's pretty cool. And, from the information on the website, it sounds interesting. I mean, I'll probably be helping out as part of the teen staff (or just my mother's daughter), but I don't think that means that I can't have fun as well, and do my own thing.

3. But finally, and most importantly, I'm looking forward to my mom's friends. I've heard all sorts of stories about them for years, and now, I'll FINALLY get to meet them! It sounds strange, but some of these people are pretty much celebrities to me. Getting to meet them will just be... like meeting, I don't know, Keira Knightley or Emma Watson. I'm almost tempted to have paper on hand for autographs...

So that's pretty much what I'm personally most excited about, conference-specific-wise. Yeah. Comment if you want, don't if you don't. I won't take it personally.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Again, and completely unrelated.

I know I just posted yesterday, but I'm going to post again- of course I am. This is supposed to be the teenager's blog. And I suppose I'm going to be rebellious as well, because I don't plan on talking about the conference itself. But this is related.

See, the conference is in Chicago, which is really awesome. Sure, Washington D.C. would have been cool, what with all the monuments and historic and important buildings and all, and I'm sure it would have been fun, but Chicago is WAY cooler (and in a minute, you'll see why). San Francisco would have been REALLY fun, mostly because of the cable cars and Ghirardelli... I'm a bit of a chocolate addict. But there is one thing that tops chocolate, and that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

You see, there is something called Broadway. And yes, I am an absolute Broadway NUT. And they have Broadway shows in Chicago... and one of my favorites. Because being the classic teenage girl I am, I love the musical Wicked (by Steven Schwartz). So I'm going to try to go see that while I'm there... because why not?

And there is something else that I will be doing while I am in Chicago. It's the literary sensation that's gripping the nation. What am I talking about? I am, of course, referring to the release of the seventh installment of J.K. Rowling's world-famous fantasy series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It comes out during the time of the conference. So of course I'm going to get the book at midnight. How could I not? And I highly doubt I'll be the only exhausted one at the conference the following morning- but what's a devoted Pottermaniac to do?

So I guess that's pretty much it... the conference is, of course, going to be my main thing (as I'm on the teen staff), but there's going to be other things going on. It's Chicago- it's gotta be good.

Oh, I just looked Chicago up on Wikipedia, and it says that the average high in July is 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I was excited about this (I don't deal well when it gets above 90), until I looked up Yakima on Wikipedia. The average high for Yakima in July is 88 degrees Fahrenheit, which is completely bogus, because I know for a FACT that the temperature got over 100 degrees F last summer, which shows you how trustworthy those little charts are...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Just a little background.

I'm sure you've all seen, by now, the little description on the right-hand side of this blog that pretty much describes my basics. My mother is a Leader, and has gone to three previous conferences. This is going to be the first one I get to go to, so I'm really excited. I've grown up in the LLL world (my mother's mother was a Leader, too), so of course I'm looking forward to that aspect. It's always nice to be around people who can say "breast" without laughing. I'm also going to be on the Teen Staff for the conference- so if you go, chances are, you'll see me running around. I'm also looking forward to being on the Teen Staff, of course- if only for the t-shirts.

As for more about me, I'm the oldest in a family of four- I have a younger sister, and two little brothers. My youngest brother is two years old and still nursing, so of course he's coming. He actually got to go to the last conference in D.C. Of course, I was terribly jealous. My other brother is nine and he got to go to a conference... when my mother was pregnant with him, so I don't suppose that counts. My sister is going to be coming to the conference, hopefully.

I suppose I'll be posting more soon, about what else I'll be doing while in Chicago, and how all the planning and whatnot is going, because I guess that's what this blog is for. But the description about me over there is a little bland, and I wanted to add some flavor... because blogs are ever so much more interesting when you actually know the person writing them. So I'm going to try to do that a little bit... only not overmuch, because there's such a thing as knowing a person too well- and I don't know any of you, do I?

Kayleigh