Monday, August 24, 2009

The Northeast Unschooling conference!

So, as I think I mentioned ages ago, we're going to the Northeast Unschooling conference near Boston, and leaving in TWO DAYS!! I'm a mix of excited and nervous, which I will explain below...

I'm excited because I'm going to be meeting/seeing a ton of cool people, some completely new, some that I know online and will be meeting in real life for the first time, and some whom I've met previously, and am happy to see again! I'm also excited because Eli has kindly asked me to speak alongside him in his discussion entitled Finding Your Own Path, where Eli and I will talk about finding meaningful work! Also, there are tons of cool presentations and funshops.

Now, why I'm nervous is because I'll be meeting a ton a new people, and I'm shy. I usually refer to myself as a social introvert, because I love being around people and am happy being around them nearly constantly, but large/new groups, new situations, and new people make me feel shy and kind of like finding a nice little corner to hide in! Even in the case of all the people I already *know* online, I find it slightly scary to actually be meeting them... When people meet me without ever having read my blog or talked to me online, I'm usually quickly forgotten about because, as I mentioned above, I'm shy and tend to fade into the background in new groups. However, when people do *know* me online, they're expecting something of me in real life, so I can't get by by simply fading into the background, I actually have to be myself to a certain extant, to put myself out there more! Which is probably a good thing, but doesn't change the fact I'm nervous.

Annnyway, the excitement does still outweigh the nervousness, which is a good thing, and I'm really excited to be going!



  1. See you there! Don't worry, I'm shy too. It'll be my second time at the NEU conference and I'll likely be hiding on my own a lot. I'm hoping to make it to Eli's (and your!) funshop, because I missed it last year. It's going to be hard to choose what to go to!

    I usually refer to myself as a social introvert, because I love being around people and am happy being around them nearly constantly, but large/new groups, new situations, and new people make me feel shy and kind of like finding a nice little corner to hide in!

    I think that makes you a shy Extravert, actually. ;) If you 'recharge' by being around people, you're an Extravert; if you 'recharge' by being alone, you're an Introvert. It's about what gives you energy in the long run, and what saps your energy in the long run.

  2. Looking forward to meeting you in "real life"! Don't worry, I'm NOT a group person in the least...I don't even really like 'parties', let alone big rooms filled with lots of people I don't know -- it stresses me out.

    I tend to be one of those "if you talk to me, I'll talk to you, but I'm not making the 'first move'" kind of people. We can pick opposite corners to blend into and smile at one another every once in awhile ;)

  3. @Michael: Looking forward to meeting you! :-) I'll probably be out and about most of the time, I'll simply be sticking like glue to my mum or sister lol.

    I recharge both by myself and around those close to me, people I'm comfortable with. Large groups, especially large high energy groups, I find incredibly draining!

    @Michele: Same here! *Grins* That sounds quite a bit like me... I'm really trying to become more outgoing, to become brave enough to initiate conversation, because I really do like people, and want to feel comfortable meeting new people! However, I often end up simply smiling shyly at people, and responding only when they initiate conversation... I guess I'll just see how I feel at the NEU con. :-)

  4. AHhhh, I wish I was going! Have tons of fun, and you MUST write all about it :)

  5. One of my biggest fears is that I DON'T meet all my online friends! I would hate to get home next week and open someone's blog and see all about their experience and realize I never knew they were there! Soooo, hope to meet you soon!

  6. I think there's a medical term for your condition: they call it being 18. As you gain experience with conferences (there will be many more for you), I predict you'll look forward to them as comfortable and fun, not worrisome at all. The better known you become, the more a conference becomes an opportunity to help a lot of people feel really good about themselves-- just because you paid attention to them.

    At this moment I'm leaving a conference in Wellington, NZ, and on the way to another one in Sydney. I know people will want to see me, and I know I can help them. I'm excited. This feeling is like candy.

    I will be at the Rethinking Education conference, soon. That one is a bit different because it's not a technical conference. I'm not well known in that community, yet. So, I'm back to that nervous feeling I once had when I was a kid. However, I know it will quickly pass.

    --- James

  7. I'm with you, Idzie, and I am not a kid. :) I am twice your age, and this will be my fourth conference. (My first one was the NEUC last year.) I have never grown out of my shyness, and I have come to accept that as okay for me. I will be looking for a few one-on-one conversations and quiet places to recharge, as will my whole family. I love all the energy at the conferences, but boy do I feel exhausted and ready for home afterward! I looking forward to attending the discussion with you and Eli.


  8. @Stella: I wish you were going too! :-( I really hope we meet up sometime or other... Thanks! I hope I will have tons of fun, and I will most certainly write all about it! :-)

    @Andrea: Yes, I hope to meet you soon as well!

    @James: Heh, I only wish it was that simple... If I was the type to seek "professional" help for things, I'd probably be diagnosed with anxiety disorder or something similar. As I got older, I kept thinking "well, I'm older now, I should be okay!", however, I've come to realize it's not related to age. New groups, new activities, where I have to go alone, scare the hell outta me. To the extant I used to get panic attacks (I haven't in ages). However, I'm not really *that* worried about this con, because I'm going with my mom and sis. It's only when I don't know anyone well that I worry. And all this mini rant was just to say that the nervousness isn't related to age, it's just related to me being shy! The leading a discussion bit would definitely become less nerve wracking with practice (though I don't really need to worry this first time, either, since I'm co-leading with someone more experienced, who's going to be doing most of the actual leading :-P) as you said. Just not the rest of it... :-S Anyway, good luck with your upcoming talks! I really wanted to go to Rethinking Education, but money wise we just couldn't manage to... Perhaps next year! :-)

    @Cheryl: Yeah, I've kind of come to a similar conclusion, only with me it's that I'll never be happy going it entirely alone! I *need* to enter new situations, large groups, etc. with someone whom I'm close to, or I just can't handle it. I need the grounding influence of someone close to me! I'm glad you're going to be attending Eli and my talk (just as a note, it looks now like it's going to have a different name than I originally wrote above...), and I look forward to meeting you! :-)