I think it’s time I came clean: My name is Amber Settle, and I am a conference addict. I’m not sure when attending conferences became such a problem for me, but I have many of the symptoms of addiction (from this source):
- Difficulty cutting down or controlling the addictive behavior
- Social, occupational, or recreational activities becoming more focused around the addiction
- The person becoming preoccupied with the addiction, spending a lot of time on planning, engaging in, and recovering from the addictive behavior
As you can see, it’s an open and shut case. I suspect that my colleagues are enabling me though, because my recent fix came from today’s DePaul Teaching Commons Fall Forum. The topic was Critical and Creative Thinking, inspired by the keynote speaker Stephen Brookfield who has written a book with the title “Teaching for Critical Thinking”. I not only attended the forum, but was also invited to be one of the lunch panelists. This, I think, is partially how I became such a conference addict, since I love giving talks. My college only encourages my behavior by paying for any conference in which I present.
In any case, the euphoria I typically feel after indulging in a fix is present today. I met some great people, heard some new ideas on pedagogy and classroom management, and now have at least three ideas for proposals for the spring DePaul conference. This is clearly a sign that I’m not ready to change my behavior. I think my partner is going to be grumpy with me when I tell him over dinner.