April 2013
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Service Learning Conference

One fantastic thing about being a college student are the conferences. There are always opportunities to connect with other schools and bring together ideas about college student life and anything else under the sun. This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a service learning conference, hoping to promote more service learning in college classrooms. Since I am passionate about volunteering this was a great conference for me to attend.

To be honest, sometimes conferences are a bust. There are a few I have gotten up early to attend and then felt like I wasted time. Not everyone is an eloquent speaker and not all groups that gather can be productive or have the same energy. This conference, however, was not a bust in any way shape or form. I made some good connections and found some great ideas to bring back to my own campus. So, what are some things that make a conference good?

1) Good student energy. This is probably the most important. When people are willing to merge together and excited to discuss the topics, you can tell. At this conference we met with students from two other schools for a twenty minute discussion, and everyone was excited to talk to one another.

2) A strong speaker. One of the top 100 teachers in the United States spoke at this conference, and also allowed for students to speak. When speakers make something powerful and relatable that is when they have achieved success. Not everyone has this skill, but this conference had a wonderful speaker.

3) Well constructed workshops. Usually there are several workshops during a conference, and there was only one here. Thank goodness it was a fantastic one! The presentation made its point direct and engaging, exactly what I was looking for. I also learned some fantastic ideas I hope to take back to McDaniel.

Overall I am so glad I attended this weekend. It was not a waste of a Saturday in any way.


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