On Goats and Standardized Tests

This past Saturday, we held a half day symposium for 100 ~12 year olds and their parents. I agreed last Feb to organize this event, and for the past ~month and a half or so, it has been causing me much stress. When Friday night rolled around, I was just thinking that all I needed to do was get it over with and the stress would be gone.

I was worrying about things like feeding 200 people breakfast and lunch, having all the people who agreed to help (14 student guides, 7 workshop presenters, 7 speakers, 2 staff...) show up, and all the A/V equipment working. I assumed that everything was going to go perfectly, but still, until the day was over I knew I was going to be stressing about some of these things.

So, at ~7:30am on Saturday, I show up with a car full of "Java Boxes", bottled water, and trays of bagels and donuts. I grab two arms full of stuff and head quickly to the area where we planned to set up the breakfast. This particular area is a common area, and as far as I knew there is no way to reserve it. I made the mistake of assuming that at 7:30am on a Saturday, it would be free. Well, I got there with my arms full, and saw coffee pots set up and brewing and people hanging signs for a meeting. It turns out that the folks from the "All About Goats" meeting got there before me. Seriously. All. About. Goats.

Fine -- I took my stuff elsewhere, some fast thinking folks grabbed some tables out of the back of some classrooms, and we got the refreshments set up. It wasn't as convenient as the other location, but it worked.

While I'm setting the food up, one of the other speakers came up to me and said, "A student just told me that there is a GRE exam taking place in one of the classrooms we reserved." At first we assumed that it was a mistake, but she had her registration sheet that listed the room. I reserved this room in *MARCH*, but here we are in November, and the GRE folks took my room out from under me. It would have been nice if someone had bothered to TELL US. Thankfully, there just happens to be a classroom around the corner that holds 100 people that we used instead, but I'm really glad that I didn't get stuck.

After the goats & GRE problems were solved, the rest of the day went well. It's over. All over.


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