What happened in Vegas … I brought back in knowledge to apply to my work.
As a freelancer, it’s easy to become a homebody, so I made it my New Year’s resolution to get more involved in professional communities (ie: network. Outside the home). I should’ve done this years ago, but I finally made it out to my first ACES conference. In Vegas. You can imagine how difficult it was for me to decide whether to really go. (It wasn’t.)
After getting rid of the initial nervousness of not knowing a single soul attending the conference, I had an educational four days listening to/speaking with my professional idols and other well-respected people in editing.
Three takeaways from the conference:
1. As intensely as editors squabbled over the news that broke during the conference that The Associated Press wouldn’t be making a distinction between using “over” and “more than,” we should fight harder for our jobs and our industry.
2. The phrase “BuzzFeed generation” is a misnomer. We can be just as into finding out which Olsen twin we are (I’m Ashley) as we are with reading the latest Atlantic cover to cover. Millennials can’t be pigeon-holed into one reading type. Quality still rules, whether it’s a quiz, listicle, long-form article and more. (But apparently slideshows are in the down and out. Not a surprise there.)
3. Copy editors always need to remember to be truth-seekers. We’re more than the rules and style guides we follow. On that note, we need to be more flexible and not brainlessly apply rules like robots.
They traveled from near and far, brought together by something that hadn’t occurred in a quarter century — to watch their alma mater in the Rose Bowl. It didn’t matter that the team’s home base, in Michigan, was thousands of miles away, while the opponent’s was just down the road (OK, under 400 miles/five-ish hours, to be specific).
We’d been waiting for so long, and it was our time. We met so many others who also bled green — from Baltimore, from Chicago, fellow Michiganders — and you couldn’t help but feel safe, feel comforted, knowing that, despite being complete strangers, you share this common bond.
A year ago today, I packed about 50 pounds of clothes and other stuff into a suitcase, overflowed a carry-on duffel bag so much so that the zipper broke at the airport, shouldered a backpack so full if someone even so much as nudged me I would’ve fallen over and jetted off for a six-month adventure in Vancouver.
I learned a lot about myself — for instance, I didn’t go into it as independent as I thought I was. But I’d like to think that the experience changed me for the better.
One of the many things I miss about the city is the view of the mountains. It’s quite the shock coming from a Midwestern suburb.
I crave for the food, especially the best, freshest sushi I’ve ever had.
And oh yeah, I suppose they’re crazy for this little thing called hockey.
You might wonder: Packed house for game day? Nope. “Just” a skills competition. The crowd was electric for just a fun afternoon, so I was hoping for a deep playoff run and see the city go crazy. Well, not as crazy as the year before. But you know. So imagine my extreme disappointment when the team got bounced in the first round.
I miss holing myself up for hours inside the majestic library built like the Coliseum to study or just read on a rainy day.
Most of all, I miss the people and the simple kindess of strangers at almost every turn.