I am so excited for #asha12!!! And a little panicky that I have a billion IEPs to schedule and sub plans to write before then, but soon enough that will be handled and I’ll be on a plane to ASHA. Woot!
And as a Type A planner (I really haven’t met an SLP who isn’t), I’ve been thinking about what to bring for a long time. And plenty of the #slpeeps have written pretty sweet checklists of what to bring. @apujo5 covered a lot of the basics in this post. @azspeechguy has a pretty sweet list, and I love @speechykeenslp’s directions on foregoing the planner and using a calendar instead. I might have to try that…using the planner last year was just slightly less painful than enduring the political phone calls of the last few hours.
I have my own list, of course, which is why I’m writing (and you’re reading?) this post. Some more serious than others.
1) If you are an SLP, you must have a scarf. It’s a thing. Like cute glasses. There has even been some discussion of the abbreviation for a male scarf–an SLParf, marf, marves, etc. Let Hotlanta know you’re with the #slpeeps, wear a scarf.
2) If you truly want to roll with the #slpeeps at #asha12 (and who doesn’t?) you must check out this t-shirt. Mine is in the mail.
3) On a more serious, and snobby note, a method to create really good coffee. I’ve spent much of the last year perfecting my away from home coffee making skills, and my go-to now is the AeroPress. I’ve taken it camping and to a few hotels, and it makes very good coffee. It also makes your suitcase smell nice to carry your own coffee around. And although I am a coffee snob, I’m also not a morning person and a bit lazy, so I might still hit up the Starbucks line.
4) I can’t agree enough with everyone else’s suggestions of some kind of bag/backpack, comfy shoes, and an external battery or power source for your techno-addictions. For me, it’s finding the right balance of super comfy and stylish. Because really, unless you’re wearing mom jeans, you probably don’t want to carry a giant Super Duper bag all over Hotlanta.
Another note on the bag–make sure it doesn’t have velcro. It’s a little rude to unstick your velcro in the middle of the session. Which is too bad, because all of my cutest messenger bags have velcro.
5) Another must-have for me is some kind of PDF annotation app for my iPad. It’s for annotating handouts of course. When they are provided by speakers….which last year wasn’t that often, but still…good to have. My current go-to is PDF Notes for iPad. I also bring 5.5) a stylus to make note taking a bit easier.
6) Snacks! It might sound like a lot of extra space to pack snacks in your suitcase, but it can save you a lot of money. Food in the convention center is ridiculously expensive, and you are often away from your hotel ALL DAY. Last year I walked to a nearby grocery store and bought some snacky things to eat between sessions. Oh, and some mini bottles of wine just because they are fun (not consumed during the sessions).
7) Cards. This year I made my own “contact cards.” I have actual business cards for work, but they have my school email address on them, and lack the really important stuff–like Twitter. And since I’m not looking for a job, but more for a professional network, these suit me better. Definitely not a must have, but when you want to exchange info with someone, they’re handy.
8) A sense of humor and a willingness to make new friends. Aww, that’s sweet, isn’t it. But seriously, ASHA11 changed my professional life. I met a whole network of the #slpeeps I would have never otherwise known. And we had a riot hanging out together throughout the conference. I can’t wait to do it again.