When you are a Speech Pathologist, you have to get 10 hours of Continuing Education yearly to maintain your license. So, yesterday, I ventured forth into the Real World to attend a seminar worth 6 of those hours. These seminars are always exactly the same. First of all, they are always held in a too-small meeting room at a generic hotel. This one was at the Reston Sheraton, which was about 30 minutes or so from where I live. So, I got up early and joined the morning commute. I actually saw the sun come up, so that was kind of nice. Anyway, when you arrive, you sign in and get your handouts, and then find a place to sit at one of the long skinny tables with the hotel pens and notepads and ugly tablecloths. Then it's time for the "breakfast," which is always croissants and muffins and bad coffee. During the morning session, it is always too cold in the room, so bad coffee will do just fine. Once the seminar starts, there is always the awkward introduction of the speaker and lots of courtesy laughter by the audience, and then 10 to 15 minutes of difficulty with the AV equipment (mic feedback, frozen computer screen, etc) before the actual seminar begins. I always sit in the back row on the end by the door, because I have to get up and leave a lot due to the bad coffee. This seminar was no different. If I didn't know better, I could have been at the Dallas Marriot or the Baltimore Residence Inn or anywhere else. Inside those walls, it's all the same.
That being said, the morning part of the seminar was actually pretty interesting. But as the morning progressed, I became (literally) painfully aware that the tailbone injury I sustained when I fell down the steps has not healed completely. I was ecstatic when lunchtime came.
The best part about the seminars, for me, is lunch. It is one of the few opportunities I get to spend a whole hour completely alone. Sometimes, I bring a magazine and eat at the hotel, but yesterday, I decided to leave and find a Five Guys. I have been wanting to go there, but we don't have any out by us. I plugged it into my GPS just to see if there was one near the hotel. SWEET! 1.9 miles later, I was eating possibly the best cheeseburger I have ever had. And the fries were awesome too. All they are lacking are milkshakes. Why don't they have milkshakes?! I am planning my campaign to get a Five Guys (with milkshakes) in Leesburg as soon as possible. In fact, maybe I should just open one myself. Then I wouldn't have to go to any more seminars!
After lunch, I headed back to the hotel. The afternoons are always difficult. By the time lunch is done, enough people have complained about being cold that the hotel staff over-compensates and makes the room into a sauna. So, we're all in there, hot and stuffed full of food and bored out of our minds. And there are still three hours to go. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
But, I made it through and got my certificate, and enjoyed doing something different for a change. Kevin stayed home and worked while Daphne spent the morning at a neighbor's house having a great time. It all worked out well, and I just have to get four more hours before my birthday. Which is August 11th, by the way. I noticed they had gift cards by the register at Five Guys...