I got involved with the program book at the request of Kim Mettache, the planning chair. She is the president of the Northwest Indiana chapter of ALDA which hosted this year's convention in Indianapolis. Kim's group was the chapter which introduced me to ALDA a few years ago. Over time I have become more involved with the Chicago chapter, but I have always stayed in touch with my friends from the Northwest Indiana chapter. Several of them are also members of the Chicago group too. Kim is one of the most energetic, upbeat people you could ever hope to meet. I was glad to be able to help her out even though I had never taken on a project like this before.
Fortunately, I had the assistance of Terri Singer, program chair, who did much of the work herself. My responsibility was for arranging the ads and converting the book into Publisher format for the printers. It sounds easy enough, but in reality it was hundreds of emails, several technical glitches to overcome, and many hours on the computer before the book was complete. Terri told me I really needed to come to the con and see it in the hands of the convention goers. She was right. When I was there and saw people using the book to plan their day's activities, I felt really glad that I had been a part of making it happen.
Capitol Building as seen from my hotel room
Back at the hotel, I turned in for a good night's sleep and took a moment to contemplate my own Big Year. So much had happened to me since I had joined ALDA Chicago the previous October. Through accepting the position as Social Chair for the group, I had grown as a person. I had organized outings for the group, attended board meetings, learned to navigate and administer their website, and met many new people. I had been to Costa Rica with Discovering Deaf Worlds. I had been chosen as an Oticon Focus on People Awards winner and been to LA. Yes, this has definitely been a Big Year for me. The Association for Late Deafened Adults had been a big part of it so it was only fitting that I ended my year at their convention. I was coming full circle I thought to myself as I drifted off to sleep.