Southern Charm at #ASHA12

Image of an owl

Where the food is fried and the tea is sweet, Atlanta promises to be a great host for the 2012 ASHA Convention. It’s only appropriate that my first-ever ASHA Convention is in my home state. I’ve been living in a Graduate School cocoon for the past year, so it will be fun to take off my speechie training wheels and revel in the knowledge and fun. I have been reading and listening to the #ASHA12 hype on Twitter and blogs, which makes me even more excited for the three-day event. I keep finding sessions I want to attend, like the First Timers Orientation, the pre-convention session “The iPad & Your Therapy: Apps, Accessories, Accessibility, & Features,” or “Laryngeal Manipulation: Why, When, & How.” Then there are the vendors I don’t want to miss like Pediastaff (Booth #1823), LessonPix (Booth #617), and Tactus Therapy (Booth #828). So many excellent sessions and vendors to choose from; how are you deciding which ones to attend?

The annual ASHA Convention seems like the best opportunity to learn the newest techniques, listen to what others have been doing, and determine the best way to not seem overly creepy with excitement for this profession. Since I am almost done with graduate school, everything seems to revolve around my enthusiasm for our diverse profession. I’m just trying to take advantage of all these amazing sessions and vendors in one place without overwhelming myself. How are you keeping it all straight? I’ve received the most support from the #slpeeps on Twitter. Based on their stories and advice, I think I can control myself enough to attend sessions and still have equal amounts of fun.

I’m also looking forward to dining around the Georgia World Congress Center. There are so many great places to choose from like Googie Burger, Taco Mac, Der Biergarten, Park Avenue  Deli & Market, and so many others right around the convention center. If you are new to the Atlanta area and plan to leave time to venture further out, consider The Varsity, Max Lager’s Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery, The Vortex, or Ormsby’s. Wherever you choose, I hope you enjoy the beautiful city of Atlanta.

I would also like to take a moment to impart some southern charm upon the excitement of #asha12. Especially to those who have also never been, or to those may not be as excited as they’ve been in previous years:

  • To all of the seasoned, flavorful, and spicy SLPs, I look forward to meeting you at the convention. I will giving away handshakes if you can find me (@SLP_Echo) during the convention (Get ‘em while they’re hot)
  • To my fellow SLP graduate and undergraduate friends, let us convene upon Atlanta with our eagerness to learn and willingness to volunteer for anything.
  • To my fellow #slpeeps, may we entice new SLPs to join the Twitterverse.
  • To those who slaved over a poster presentation, oral session, technical session, or any other session, may those who attend the sessions bring enough enthusiasm it’s worth every minute.
  • To those attending the Wednesday workshops by GSHA , may the extra day in Atlanta make you want to eat peaches and  drink Coca-Cola till you have a southern accent.
  • To those who are dancing in the flash mob (aka #ashamob), may people appreciate the happiness it brings as well as the eloquence of the ‘booty roll’.
  • To the adventurous #asha12 attendee, may you fill up on southern comfort food and fall prey to using “Ya’ll” at least once while you are here.

Keep track of all the happenings before, during, and after the convention on Twitter and ASHAsphere. Wait, what’s that? You don’t use Twitter?? Well, don’t be shy; join the ranks and check out how to get started here.  Can’t wait to see everyone at the 2012 ASHA Convention in Atlanta, GA!!

(Katie is one of the official ASHA Convention bloggers. These three bloggers were selected to blog about the ASHA Convention in exchange for complimentary registration. Stay tuned for more insights from her and the other bloggers before, during and after convention.)

 

Katie Millican, B.S. Ed., is a second year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology program at the University of West Georgia (UWG). Katie is the current UWG local NSSLHA chapter President.  She is active with the #slpeeps and #slp2b on Twitter (@SLP_Echo) and on Pinterest, and she writes her own blog SLP_Echo: Just another SLP in the Making. Katie has a passion for using technology and sharing evidence-based ideas.