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Gail's LLLI Conference Blog

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Tuesday Blog 1

Hello everyone!

Last night after the Gallery of Gatehrings I went to the 3rd floor to watch the fire works. in Sandy Thorne's room along as many leaders and families as could fit inside. They were beautiful and it was fun to see them at eye level. We all sat in the dark ooohhing and ahhing in unison. (We had no choice, Sandee made us, LOL)Some adventerous folks made their way down to the Mall to see the fire works in person but I didn't think I had enough oomph left to walk 45 minutes each way or the courage to expereince the terrorist drill the city had planned.

Once the fire works were done I ZZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOmed down to the ballroom again to be photograpghed with all the other scholarship recipients.
No one was there! argh! I wondered around a bit and I ran into my roomie Susi and some other gals. They seemed to be in search of a party... fortunately I had one in my conference bag so we decided to meet in Pam and ??'s room for drinks and snacks. Once there we discovered that you could a horison full of fireworks from other towns outside of Dc it'self as well as renegade fireworks in the allways near the hotel. We mixed a few gin and tonics, munched on almonds and "dirty chips and got down to the busines of getting to know each other while watching the the firworks showering over the city lights. There were leaders from all over the USA and the world in the room! WOW!!

Today I went to Making Sense of Adolesence: Understanding and dealing with teenagers by Gordon Neufeld. The very short versiosn is that the USA culture has stretched adolescence out to outrageous lengths. He spoke about the confusion our teens go through as the make the passage between childhood and adulthood with rituals to guide them and connect them. He also explained the emotions they go through in adolescencs and that it's normal to feel dark and lost and isolated... it's a time of growing idealism and suden realization that your parents and other adults aren't perfect!! that it's part of the impetus to find a passion and a direction in life. Staying connected and wooing your teen, maintaining a relationship is important. He emphiasized that before you teach you need to connect... they are egocentric, so asking them to explain what they think, what their ideas or solutions might be first will engage them... then you introduce your perspective or explain your expectations.

I sat at the Minnesota/ Dakota's table with Crystal the gal from Appleton and a Leder from Saudi Arabia. We figured that since we either live close enough to the Area or have lived in Minnesota sit at the the table.

Okay, off to my next session. I'll try to catch you up later.


Monday, July 04, 2005

Monday 1

I've been trying to get into the tech room alllllll day and now it's 7pm.

All the session have had great questions asked at the end which led to us going over time a bit.

I'm trying to decide if i should buy the syllabus. It's $50. but there's so much information flying past that I'm sure I'm missing over half of it.

Last night was the World Faire. WOW. It was major sensory overload. I bought an Italian charm, earrings and a necklace for myself. For Eric I bought some fake snow from the Alaska table and a leather snake bracelt from the Guatemala tabel. Katie will get a dream box from Irelend and Alex will get a rose stone from Texas and an Irish versons of a birthstone. Jeff will get some cajun spice mix from Missisippi. Men are sooooo hard to shop for.

I met a gal from the Appleton Wisconsin group and sat with her ( I hink we are THE only people here from Wisconsin besides a vendor and Peggy W.) and Deb Olsen during the Founders tea. That was somuch fun. It was sad when we honored the Leaders who've passed on. I dind't think I could stay though it. It's hard to think of them not here with us.

I think I'll run up to my room and lay down for a few minutes before the gallery of gatherings begin.


Found it!!

We have discovered and recovered Gail's earlier Sunday post. It's been restored below. We apologize for the confusion.

Tech Room Staff

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sundays blog 2

Sunday's Blog 2

Hmmm some how my last 2 blogs disapeared into cyber space. not sure how that happened?? I published one after lunch and not even Jennifer can find it so poof... all that witty observation is gone. (really it was my most brilliant peice of writting ever, I'm so sorry you'll have to read this instead)

This morning I went to Barbara Coloroso's session on Bullying. ( I sat next to Peggy W. from Wisconsin and caught up on mutual freinds) I've heard B.C. speak before and could go back over and over again she's so dynamic and down to earth. It was a very emotional session for me, and eye opening too. We/I forget that bullying is not just a kid thing, and it's not a normal part of life... we may all have our own expereiiences with but it's just not "normal". I left the session, race walked to the bookstore and and bought her book. I need to read through it and highlight and circle and bend pages to absorb it all.

Lunch was awesome. I sat at the Israel (+) table. about half the people around the table were from Isreal nad hte rest of us know Donna! She's defintately a draw for me we roomed together for 2 nights and hit it off ... tommorrow Donna promises to come wake me up to go walking at 6:00. Susi my other roomie doesn't seem to hve the heart to wake me up. or maybe she just can't get through the fog...
Are there any Wisconsin Leaders here??? Maybe I could go sit at teh MN/Da table next time...


LUNCH! Dessert was 3 fruit sorbet balls in a champagne flut... mmmmmmmmmmmm.
And here was a way cool key note speaker named E. Stephen Buescher, MD. His topic was Human Milk: It's more than just food. His focus is on everything else in breastmilk besides nutrients... He says that 50% of human milk (HM) is just sawdust... meaning it's non-nutritive and passes though our baby's GI tract intact or nearly so. I was startled to learn that there are components in our milk that turns off all the functions of the white blood cells.............. huh? Why? good question. He's working to figure that out for us! The components that do this shut down the inflammatory effects fo WBC's... preventing the inflammation, heat, swelling etc that are associated with teh disease process......

guess i need to do more reading! He had some interesting thoughts and research about the chemical communication that occurs between breastfeeing women and those around us... and how we feel disturbed and often react with anger when we feel this emotional reaction to the chemical stimulus............. and he had his own ideas about what Barbara Walters may have been struggling with on that airplane!

After lunch I went to a panel disscussion on The Sandwich Generation...There I sat near Elaine Shirron, sans Matches the wonder pup and Meg Sondey of CN fame. She's carrying a suitcase full of chocolate and postcards and such to swap with folks.

and so.... I have a small break to run up to my room and call the kids. My cell phone died when I tried to call from the court yard... then on to dinner somewhere and then at 7:00 I'll go to the World Faire to find souveniers for my family. shhhh I bought an italian link bracelet for Katie, but I'm keeping the LLL link.

from Dunnville and currenly in DC


Sunday Blog 1


I've zoomed in between lunch and second session. Thismornign I went to hear Barbara Coloroso spek about Bullies, the bullied and bystanders. Whoa.
that hit home.. no that's not a pun.

I can remeber moving to my current home town expecting to slip right in as I had done the other 5 or so times I moved but being met wiht a culture of bullying... now one of my sons is experiencing bullying.... so mnay times during the session I found myslef close to tears. Barbara is amazing in that she can bring you so close to tears nad lift you up again in momnets... so mcuh like life itself. If you ever have a chance to hear her speak it is well worth. I have a a btter idea of how to help m son... which I felt paralysed to do falling intot eh trap many people do of finding ways to merely avoid the bullies... elaving him feel soemthing is horribly wrong wiht him.. argh!! I bought her book nd wiil devour it on the way home.............

I sat next to peggy W. from Wisconsin USA and looked through photos of another WI leader's daughters wedding! Time flys, I still picture kathy T's daughter as a lovely teen, not a statusque young beauty at the alter!

At lunch I learned that breast milk is 50% sawdust...

I'll have to leave you wiht that! A speaker is coming in to chat.... but I'll let you stew on it and tell you what hat REALLy means later!
Love gm

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Conference Begins!!

The conference Begins!

Hello all!!

Today is my first official day of conference. I was going to go to another museum this morning but decided to go to the World Assembly instead.

I lost my conference booklet already so I borrowed a page from Nancy Jo Bykowski.... this is the booklet says:
World Assembly_ A Community Alive!
eaders and Leader Applicants from the four corners of the world gather to discuss topics and programs of interest to them in the LLL community. Come share excitement in making the network alive in the real world for the morning.

Okay, I wasn't really sure what this was but after 2 days of waiting for my part of the conference to begin I just wanted to be involved with something!! (Okay, my sight seeing plans haven't worked out as well as I hoped. I'm still tired enough that I'm not sure I could navigate DC on my own, I've witnessed a car accident at the intersection I was about to cross... it moves way too fast for this country mouse... squeak squeaker squeaken).


So Back to the conf. ;-)

I entered the International Ballroom West to find folks milling around. I found a seat and soon saw familiar faces wandering by.. One was Peggy Weidemyer(sp?) who began my accreditation process with me about (mumble mumble )years ago. Soon we broke into "tables" I was relieved to see there were actual tables involved. I found the table for the topic Mutual accountability: what it means to me; how it works or can work. I've been hearing this phrase on different Community Network (CN) lists and linked with "Heartland" and sometimes with the Renewal Initiative and wanted to see what others were thinking about it. (Leaders---if YOU want to see the conversation we generated notes from each of the tables will be put up on CN. My table is starting a discussion by the same same name on CN. I think many others are too.

anyway. Surrounding our table were leaders from Italy, USWD and EUS and New Zealand. At first our discussion focused on sorting out what was meant by "accountability"... whose accountable to who, what does that mean, are there better words for it etc. We talked about some of the negative feelings around the word accountability... and yet how negative experiences in our work with Leaders left us feeling we wanted someone "to do something" about it... somewhere for the buck to stop....

I still felt a bit off with the word accountability. It seemed too focused in a way like the other side of the coin was missing. We soon began talking about being "engaged"... being committed to LLL and to the Leaders in our Area, or Leaders we work with due to geography. (which I do a bit. I live much closer to events in MN/DA than to events in WI). Engaged worked for me on several levels. If I know someone and have a bit of a relationship with them I'm motivated to maintain that relationship... I'm more likely to make a commitment to work with them in what ever parameters we've set up and I want to meet whatever goals we've set up. AND... engaged brings to mind a clutch. I can sit in my car ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL day long long burning up gas but if i don't engage the clutch I'm never going to get in gear and GO anywhere!

Some of my thoughts were: As a Leader I've promised... committed... to engaging with moms and babies to offer them support and information as they build their nursing relationship... I've agreed to do so in the name of LLL so I've promised to do it in a certain way which is in accordance to LLL philosophy. Being engaged with other Leaders and building relationships creates a working relationship where we will clarify the way we want to serve LLL and make sure it reflects LLL philosophy and hold each other accountable. Much of this already happens but not across the board.

Good grief. I wrote so much for one thing. I'll try not to babble on on such a small detail in other blog entrys.


Friday, July 01, 2005

Friday Morning

Friday Morning

Mmmmm the beds here are amazing!!
I forced myself to get up a bit after 6:30am. I've breakfasted and am waiting to start sight seeing. The museums are closed until 10am...
The red trolley starts at 9:10... so I'll hop on and off at different monuments until the museums open.

I've been bumping into leaders from around the world... France, Canada, Mexico so far. California seems to have the largest contingency from my unscientific elevator polls.

The tech room is cool. Folks are trickling in to get their photos taken for CN. I'm having a bad hair day so I'll pass today...

oops gotta go get me camera!