Although I’m no longer doing client projects on a regular basis, I am doing quite a lot of work for professional groups including both ACM SIGCHI (Special Interest Group in Computer-Human Interaction) and the Fulbright Association, and my days feel as full as ever.
This past week has been spent in Denver at CHI2017 which was, as always, a great chance to catch up with friends and learn about so many things. This time, I learned about the impacts of concussions and using a walking boot, as well as the expected HCI/UX. Our cab coming into Denver from the airport was hit at high speed and my friend, Sara Drenner, and I were both injured – though not visually. Not just stiff necks and aches throughout, but also, in my case, a concussion. I went to Urgent Care on Friday, then powered through the weekend for our Symposium on HCI Across Borders (which I will cover separately) – pure adrenaline. By Sunday afternoon, however, I could no longer hold the impacts at bay. I ended the Symposium slurring my words, being confused, and with a massive headache. I was hoping these would go away with a good night’s rest, but nope – on Monday morning I was significantly more confused and word finding was getting much, much harder. So I went to the ER to have an MRI. Amazingly, this is was a smooth and speedy process. Unfortunately, I was ordered to avoid screens and to sleep all week. That proved to be very difficult, but I did mind as much as I could. That contributed to my CHI attendance pattern. As a result, the only technical things I attended were mine – the Symposium and Remix (more on these later) and Ben Shneiderman’s Keynote (plus bits of the other 2 keynotes) (plus a celebration of Scooter Morris where I played my role of Dr. Dray-yo!)
What struck me as a result, however, was the amazing outpouring of love! People helped carry things, arrange things, and even get me a scooter so I could get around a vast space without too much stress and fatigue. This was such a heartwarming experience. I wish I had had a magic bag so I could collect it all to bring out on sad days.
I will be heading home late this afternoon, and can’t wait for the jiggity-jig!