Monday, February 7, 2011

I just noticed a hole in the bottom of my Holy Grail

FDIC, The Fire Departments Instructor's Conference occurs in March each year in Indianapolis, IN and is the largest conflagration of Fire Instructors in the free world. It holds a firm spot on my bucket list.
 Being a small time Instructor from a small Department in a small County, it is not likely, or even expected that I could make it to such a conference. When considering that everything I do in the Fire Service is volunteer, it is even less likely that I will ever make it out there for the week. Finally, when you consider that I have no connection to anybody with a budget that might help with the expense, that I would have to take vacation time, that I would leave the wife at home, and that pretty much seals my fate.
 None the less, each year I read Study the classes, workshops, and HOT sessions just in case somebody calls me about a buddy who has canceled, and could I fill his spot and 'help' with expenses. (Don't laugh, my son and I once did a 12 day trek in the mountains of New Mexico that very way. It could happen again.)
 So today, during my lunch break I was reading the lineup for this year's event and daydreaming about the workshops, HOT sessions, and classes I would pick (if i were [whimper] actually [queue pitiful moan] going). I had worked my way through the very many sessions and drooled over the speaker lists and dreamed of meeting those whose books and articles I have read for years.
 The last section I was going over was the Classroom Sessions and there were some very tough choices to make with so many good speakers. When I worked my way up to Thursday's classes. it hit me that the person, or persons who arranges these classes is not paying very close attention. Normally, when planning a conference such as this with very many good presentations, the program is sorted so that presenters with similar or complimentary subjects are spread out over the different time slots. This way, an attendee can have a particular interest and get a different session in in similar subject in time slot after time slot. This makes sense right?
Apparently, not at FDIC. I draw your attention to Thursday, March 25th, the 1:30 to 3:15 time slot. They have placed Rhett Fleitz, Dave Statter, and Curt Varone so they all have sessions competing with each other. When I realized this I went back and found several other time slots where there were sessions on similar subjects competing with each other. No wonder I was having trouble choosing! Somebody's not paying attention here folks.
 Now the reason I use this valuable blog space to mention this is because I know many of my distinguished readers do have  the means to attend this prestigious event. Dear comrades, while you are out there in Indy, would you please mention that similar sessions should be separated in time slots so that folks can attend several good sessions back to back instead of having to choose? If I were there this year, I would have to choose between Rhett, Dave, or Curt, and I would want to see them all! ( I do, however, note the irony of Rhett going up against Dave, with Curt being unavailable to mediate because he has his own session going on.)
 Now, I really plan on making 2012 for sure, I am working on a savings plan now and am interviewing folks that will share the trip expenses with me. (Is ti legal to run a raffle off of your blog?) So if you folks attending this year would kindly take notes and send them along when you get home, I'd really appreciate it.
 Hopefully blogging will not have gone out of style by 2012 and I can finally hook up and meet some of the folks I've been reading for the last 3 years or so.
 Geez, I wonder what these guys were thinking?

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