|I go everywhere from here.|
- Wednesday was a hiking day here. I got back to the house at 5, took a shower, tossed back some dinner, and sat down at 6 to watch children's literature historian Leonard Marcus's lecture on the history of Little Golden Books hosted by the Northern Illinois University art museum. It was excellent. And free, but that's not the point.
- On Thursday morning a family thing for that evening was cancelled. Part way through the day I realized that that freed me up to attend an agent panel on Zoom sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers for its members. It was also very good. And free to me, but, again, not the point.
Attending these things was effortless. I didn't even have to preregister for them. I didn't even dry my hair before the Marcus lecture. When my head popped up in a box on my screen, I just ran to the bathroom next door and made a quick braid. There was no getting ready and driving somewhere. There was no having to plan my day around going to a lecture or a panel discussion in the evening. I got the benefit of all this content at my convenience, tucked into a spot in my day.
What's more, the speakers and panelists clearly were taking part from all over the place. They hadn't had to plan for days that they were going to have to travel somewhere to speak for an hour and then get themselves back home. A 60- or 90-minute event truly was a 60- or 90-minute event for them.
Margaret Atwood is speaking at my alma mater in Vermont next month. I'm registered to attend it virtually. Another freebie for me. Later today I'll be registering for my first workshop of the fall. I admit I'll have to pay a modest amount for that. But I'll be signing up for the virtual option, so I won't have to leave Connecticut to go to the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio to attend.
Digital events, often brought to us on Zoom, have the potential to bring so much into lives. I think some people may feel negatively about them, because they associate Zoom with the pandemic. But they are a positive the pandemic unintentionally brought us. It forced us to truly think outside the box and move forward technologically.