Sunday, April 10, 2011

ACPE National Conference 2011

I don't know what possessed me, but I decided it would be a good idea to attend the ACPE national conference in Salt Lake City. I thought it would be cool. I mean really, how often would I get the chance to do something like this? Plus, I'm seriously considering doing supervisory CPE so the chance to do a little networking at the conference never hurt anyone!

I flew out with my classmate Leigh Ann who was kind enough to agree to share a hotel room with me also! Her classmate from seminary, Yvonne, stayed with us also, so it was fun to have a few partners in crime while we were out there.

Because I was later registering I honestly didn't expect to get into a workshop I was interested in, but I did! It was on narrative theology, which was very exciting. The workshop itself was pretty good, but I got the impression that the person leading/teaching it had never really done this before because the other members of the class seemed to take more of a lead in it. Even though most of it was geared toward being used as a supervisor (I think I was the only person who wasn't a supervisor in that group!) I definitely saw some implications for working with patients as well!

The best part about being there as a student was that we weren't on any committees so we didn't have to go to those meetings and had some good down time to hang out and explore. Our hotel was about half a mile from the Mormon temple and all the surrounding buildings, so I knew I wanted to do some exploring around there. The weather was supposed to be cooler than at home (but then again, almost anywhere is going to be cooler than home!) and rainy, but I was hopeful that I'd get to do some exploring anyway. Sadly, it was not only rainy, it SNOWED most of the time! Seriously? It actually wasn't too bad and it was kind of neat. We did get to do a little exploring around the Temple Square when we went to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. That was stinking amazing! Loved it! I definitely would like to go back and see more of the visitor's centers and generally poke around some more. The general scenery of the mountains was just amazing! I was seriously in awe every time I stepped outside and saw these beautiful, snow-capped peaks as the backdrop to everything!

I decided to leave the computer at home since internet access wasn't free, and instead did all my work "the old fashioned way" with a pen and a notebook! Isn't that such a novel idea? Yes, it made me slow down a little bit and I probably lost a few thoughts I would have liked to have captured that I probably could have gotten if I was typing, but it really did free me a bit! I wasn't totally cut off from technology. I still checked my e-mails on my phone and there was a computer in the hotel I could use, but it was nice to not have the distraction of just fooling around. I took some CPE reading with me (aren't I a good student?) but I was pretty much "roughing it" when it comes to distractions. That was good for me. I did get some work done, and also a little pleasure reading thanks to the kindle app on my phone (which pleasure reading is a self-care goal for this unit, so technically that gets work credit too!)

It was a wonderful trip and I really enjoyed it. My only regret was not taking Jeff! Next year the conference will be in Arlington, VA so we may try to make a little mini-vacation out of it if I am able to go! I am also certain I want to go back to Salt Lake City at some point just for fun, because it really was a beautiful place and I enjoyed my time there.

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