By the skin of my teeth, I got my American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) annual meeting registration form submitted by the early bird deadline. Why the struggle? I have had the annual meeting preliminary program opened on my desktop for more than a week. Unfortunately for me however, the thirty-six page program was filled with sessions, events, tours, and workshops, with nearly every one of interest to me in some way. How can I be in all these places at once?
I have already gone through the program and circled all of the sessions I want to attend, many of them overlapping with one another. I have earmarked the receptions that I would not miss for the world, such as the Developing History Leaders @SHA reception. I have, of course, registered for the Wednesday evening tour of Locust Grove and the Block Party on Museum Row, both of which will no doubt be fabulous. Beyond those “can’t miss” events though, how am I supposed to choose one tour over another? One session over another?
The answer is clear. I need an AASLH Annual Meeting clone. I need an extra me to attend the New Approaches in Military History session that occurs at the same time my own session on Managing Innovation is taking place. I need the extra me to attend the Block Party but not be late to the 2nd annual Battledecks competition. I need the extra me to attend both talks by presenters I admire that take place at the same time as sessions that are more practical for my job. And most of all, I need this extra me to attend anything happening before 8 am.
In the end, I submitted my registration and made the early bird deadline. I look forward to the task of trying to be many places at once and the wonderful challenges that come with having the opportunity to attend the many fabulous programs offered by the AASLH Annual Meeting.
If you haven’t registered yet, you still have time. The preregistration deadline is August 14. See you in Louisville!
Eloise Batic is the Director, Exhibitions for the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis, IN. She also serves as a member of the 2015 Program Committee.