Monday, February 13, 2012


For the last 25 years or so, I've lived with my suitcases half packed in preparation for my teaching trips, which had been as many as 3 times a month.  I found it was just easier to leave them on our guest room floor, adding and subtracting as needed for each group I visited.

Now that my retirement from that side of my career is closer and closer, the suitcases have been unpacked after each less frequent trip.  It might surprise you to know just how much time and work is involved getting organized for a trip.  Time is counted in days not hours, especially for conferences!  

Next month I'll be judging, teaching, demonstrating, and lecturing at the AQS Lancaster show.  There are  7 different portions to prepare for.  I'm not complaining....I'm looking forward to going.....but after being home since November, I felt like I was preparing all my workshop materials for the very first time!

I maintain a bin of teaching material for each class I teach.  It contains everything I need for that workshop....most of it has already been made up in bulk in advance....such as piles of class handouts, bead kits, technique  samples, my lesson plan, a packing list of quilts I share for the workshop.  

Now these boxes no longer have kits or handouts, nor are they well organized anymore due to the infrequency of teaching.  OH MY.....I spent the entire day yesterday getting things up to speed again and I have one more class to finish today.

What's the rush you might ask?  I don't leave for the conference until March 12th!'s another inside peak behind the scenes.  

Yes, those are 3 of the 4 suitcases I'll be bringing....and if you've flown lately, you know there are restrictions on the number and weight of checked baggage. My goal yesterday was to gather the needed workshop materials, plus books, and other products....dump into the suitcases and weigh what I have.  Of course I already knew I'd have to ship some things....but with those escalating costs (which are out of pocket for teachers) my plan is always to put the maximum weight allowed in my baggage.

But still....why am I doing this now?  Believe it or not, our materials must be shipped to arrive at AQS by no later than Feb. 29th.  They transport it to Lancaster, where we will pick it up in the 'teacher ready' room.

Perhaps this is more than you wanted to know.....heck, sadly, that's all I had to chat about today since there has been and will be no stitching going on till I'm organized. 


Mary Jo Cartledgehayes said...

An excellent post! The question of how to organize and prepare, whether for ongoing projects or for the teaching events you describe, has answers that always changing to fit circumstances. Thanks for showing your method.

TheaM said...

It is always a treat to see what goes on 'behind the scenes' for a teacher!
...having been a 'teacher's pet' several times, I know there is much more to it than gliding into the spotlight just as the class starts! lol!