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Sunday 27 October 2013

WCCE8 2013, Impressions IV

Toy Museum, Munich

‘Hi, Susie, we met at the conference for about two seconds!’

There were many people at the WCCE8 2013 who I did not even meet for two seconds, who I would have loved to have spent two hours with!

There were people in Munich who I had not met for twenty years who I should at least have had a chance to say Hello to, but without the networking system that had been available pre-Hong Kong I did not know who I should look out for. I did not recognize some and some probably did not recognize me, so we missed each other.

There were old friends in Munich who I saw often during the three days, old friends who attracted like magnets, but there were other old friends who I did not bump into at all, some who I did not even know had attended the Congress until afterwards.

Last night I was about to sit down to post a plea here on my blog for someone to make herself known to me for a second time –

Calling Krisztine, Krisztina, Christine, Christina – someone tall, smiley, blond and very friendly!
At the Congress I was in the foyer chatting to my bestest-friend and number one calming influence, German conductor Raphaela Ross, when a tall, blond, energetic lady shouted across the crowd – 

‘Hello Susie, you do not know me, Krisztina (???), I read your blog!’

It was such a lovely experience and it made my day, it made my conductor friend Raphaela smile too and say ‘Wow, what about that?’, but after that I never saw the tall, blond lady again!

Neither of us could remember the surname. I searched Congress sites and blogs, and Facebook reports for pictures of a person called Krisztina, Christina, Christine. I was not sure whether I was looking for an American or a Hungarian. The short sentence that the lady had spoken in English was perfect and the accent was so American that I could not be sure.

Was that person who reads my blog you?

Before I posted this I decided to take another look on Facebook for one more attempt at finding out who it was. I had a hunch and had asked a few people to be my ‘friend’ on Facebook during the week after the conference as part of my search. Once again I thought I would search through the photos that were appearing on Facebook and other Congress websites to see if I could spot a likeness, then I would post the above posting.

And low and behold

I switched on Facebook and the first thing I noticed were those little red symbols blinking at me from the top of the page. One messages said – 

‘Hi Susie,

We met at the Congress for about two seconds. I told you "hi” and "I'm reading your blog" but after that we didn't meet again. I was just so busy with going to lectures and talking to old friends and guess you were in the same shoes. Anyway I just wanted to say, it was nice to meet you and I will keep reading your blog. Krisztina’

Cyberspace made it possible

I often wonder why I am registered on Facebook. At the moment I do not really want to use my Facebook page for my own personal writing but I registered because so many people use it and I have always thought it to be a good place to be to be able to contact people.

With there being no delegates list from the Congress and no email addresses in the Abstract Book, because of legal reasons, it is virtually impossible to know who was at the Congress, apart from those people that you already knew.

There were 700 people at the Congress, I wish that I had been able to meet more than just a handful of them.

Thanks to Facebook and a bit of searching in Cyberspace I have been able to make contact with this one person, who took that two-seconds opportunity in real-life to make herself known to me and who I wish I had been able to speak to in person. It made my day again when she wrote to say who she is, and a bit more –

‘Well, I’m glad I solved the mystery. I was very happy to spot you because I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. I too tried to find you later but for some reason we didn’t cross each other’s way during the next days. Since I don’t blog I always look out for those who take their time to share their thoughts with us. It is nice to follow your work with the students and outside the school.

Krisztina made my day a second time

Once again the mystery lady put a smile on my face, as tired after a week at work, getting ready to go to the theatre I received her message.

It is lovely to put names and faces to the dots on the map at the top of my blog. It is also really nice to get some feedback that motivates me to keep on writing. This happens rarely.

There were a couple of other people from America who I had wanted to meet but I do not know what they look like so I missed them completely. There were probably several other people who I would have gladly spent time meeting but there was just no time.

There were also many people who I know in Germany but only ever meet at Congresses or meetings who I would gladly have spent some time with.

Having successfully caught up with someone once I shall now try to find others through Cyberspace, and maybe by the next WCCE we will know each other well enough to be attracted like magnets just as happened between me and the few old friends I bumped into often while on my way between presentations and workshops.

I did not really get to talk to these friends, however, with the evenings booked with entertainments and the days full with running here and there.

I was left at the end of those busy days in Fürstenfeldbruck asking myself what exactly I had taken away with me except an empty pocket, exhaustion, and several boxes of unsold books.

One thing that I have are the special moments like the one that prompted this posting, and meetings and workshops like George McDowell’s that I have written about already.

As I recollect what I did in the bits-in-between times, the times between the commitments that I had, I realise that I heard some really good presentations.

I will in the course of the next few weeks write some more impressions and I will discuss these bits-in-between times when I sat and listened to other people’s experiences and views on conductive pedagogy, upbringing and lifestyles.

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