Day 1 in Massachusetts.

judgingBusy day, after a lovely breakfast at the Autumn Inn, I headed over to the campus, just down the road, and parked myself for the day in the jury room for the fashionfashionjudging show.  I was one of three jurors, and we had to judge 48 garments on all kinds of technical criteria, and we worked hard.  Other than a break for lunch, we worked until 4:30 pm, carefully looking at each garment, trying them on when appropriate, see photo at right, and then awarding all kinds of special awards, and I was thrilled that my co-jurors all had the same sensibilities that I did, and we quickly agreed upon the pieces that really stood out.  Since this was all anonymous, I have no idea whose jacket I tried on, but it sure was lovely.

I had about 20 minutes to run over to the auditorium before the tech crew left, to do a sound check and make sure my presentation worked.  Initially we couldn’t get my images to size correctly, they looked like they were stretched to fit a wide screen format on the stage, but I had an ah-ha moment, (my husband would have been proud) and I changed the output resolution in the PowerPoint program.  So all was well, and I ran back across campus for the barbeque.  I gobbled my food, had someone drive me back to the inn, changed into my gown, threw on some makeup, and back to the campus and the auditorium with five minutes to spare.  I got all the equipment turned on and after the initial housekeeping anouncements, I was on stage and beginning my hour keynote address to officially start the conference.  I had my buddies from Michigan drive to Massachusetts to hear me speak, (I’m sure that wasn’t the real reason they came, but it made me feel really good when they said it!)  I gave them the camera and they got a few pictures of me in action.  I am a pretty animated speaker, and most of the shots were hilarious, as I was caught in all kinds of awkward facial expressions.  But some of them came out quite nice, thanks guys, and I thought I’d share them.  When the image on the wall of my now infamous dress came up, everyone asked me to step out from behind the podium to model the real dress.  It does look great on a stage.keynote1keynote2keynote3

I share some pretty personal stuff when I give a keynote address, especially about my journey with breast cancer, and more than one tear was shed, including mine.  At the end, there were a couple of standing ovations in the back, which makes me feel like I made a difference for a brief moment, and afterwards, there were a lot of hugs and support and I think it all turned out well.  Later there was wine back at the inn…