SWC Con 2001 in Chicago

70 SWCers met in sweltering heat at the end of July, for the SWC 2001 Convention. The heat was mostly ignored by our members who cared more about the people there: old friends, and new friends. Oh, yes, workshops, too. here are some stories from the Chicago Convention. As you'll see the convention was more than workshops, more than meeting people, more than travels back and forth. It was all of those things.

Katherine Burns
Copyright 2001

Coming to Chicago

Seeing Christine again was one highlight of the Chicago convention for me. That woman is energy personified! She's a person who can do anything she sets her mind to. Well, except maybe find our hotel from the airport!

Christine had graciously offered to drive my mom and me from the airport to the hotel and we started off with very clear directions from MapQuest. But we made the wee mistake of heading north instead of south (or was it the other way around?) and ended up a bit out of the way. We managed to get directions from some very nice people (I think the toll booth guy got the instant hots for Christine!) and arrived hot, tired, and famished at our hotel around 9:15 pm. We missed the party for Bob but we weren't about to miss dinner! We went to the Rockbottom Bar and Grill where we had yummy salads and got back to our rooms around 11:00 pm.

Christine, thanks for the tour of Chicago!

Other highlights of the trip included seeing Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio just down the street from Mary Clark's gorgeous house, the dinner cruise and all the wild dancing, the relationships panel, including Jane's impromptu answer to Blondie's query about how people can be so cruel (was there a dry eye in the house?), the silent auction, the keynote speaker, and the town meeting. And seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends was the icing on the cake. It was great seeing Dale, Bob and Ling, Martha, Jane S., Cindy H, Don, Susan D, Sandi, and LaVon again, and meeting Barbara and her mom, Sheila, Marti and Tom, Ronda, Paul, Susan Slocum, and a bunch of other people! I know I didn't socialize as much as I would have if my mom hadn't been with me but I plan to make up for that at later conventions.

Thanks to all who made this convention so wonderful.

Melissa Craig
Copyright 2001

What's so great about being at a Say What Club con?

It's not just finally putting faces to the names.

It's not just being near people like ourselves, and the ease of communication. We don't have the strain that exists with hearies, because we know what to do to make ourselves understood. It's not just that we really, really are more observant people, who know instantly what "that look" on someone else's face means - who know someone hasn't gotten what was said and how to go about making sure it happens. It's not just being able to blank out (or fall asleep!) once in awhile, and to be with people who truly understand what it is to need to take a break. It's not just having all the accomodations possible, notepads and ASL interpreters and CART and looped conference rooms.

It's not just finally being able to see peoples' faces along with what they say. (I think we'd have a lot less argument/ debate/ squabble if we could do that all the time!) It's not just finally experiencing the full impact of someone's personality, having their facial expressions and body language along with their words.

It's not just the happiness of getting back something of what we used to have in our social lives, or never had before and wished we had.

It's not just the sharing of everything (from painful to silly to exhilarating life experiences, or someone letting you examine her CI - and even feel where the magnet's been implanted - or someone letting you try out her ear silhouettes.)

It's not just the sheer joy and sheer power in our numbers.

It's all of those things, and much more. We are already friends, already a group, and to actually be together for a time is a wondrous, hilarious, moving experience.

I'll be trying really hard to go to Alexandria, and I hope all of you will too. We all deserve to have this richness in our lives!


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