What I Learned During My Summer Vacation

Topics: Saturday Night Live, Sarah Palin, Tina Fey Pages: 2 (475 words) Published: April 19, 2012
June through August, when I was young, entailed family trips around the state. In September, when asked about my vacation, I would say brightly, "I visited Mexico, Paris and Lebanon," and then in a quieter voice, "without ever leaving Missouri." Although my family didn't go far, we were always learning. The show-me state attitude instilled at an early age, while riding in the back of a Buick Riviera, resurfaces each year around this time. Because I took leave from my writing responsibilities this summer, it seems fitting I should return with a report on a few things I learned while away didn't go back for my 25th high school reunion but I connected on Facebook with people I hadn't had face-time with in years. I renewed a friendship I've always regretted losing, I swapped updates with the fellow who gave me my first kiss (circa second grade), I caught up with a classmate who has since appeared in blockbuster films, and I watched my music teacher (now the Mayor of recently flood ravaged Clarksville) talk to reporters with style. Prior to this parallel reunion, most of my social network was comprised of family and people I know through the learning, technology, and social media fields. The relationships I've rekindled with childhood pals has drawn me to think about online community in more intimate terms, coaxing me to revise my profile and bring more of myself to this space. When my husband left his corporate career, he walked out with enough vendor-hawked t-shirts to last him decades. As the sole booth-visiting member of the family now, I focus my attention on squeezy chotchkies for boy wonder and the ease with which the booth itself can teach me something so I don't need to bond with the demodude. This summer's winning booth was from Vivisimo, an enterprise search and clustering utility that wouldn't have grabbed my attention had it not been for their stellar artwork and informative decor. This otherwise commoditized vendor did more than any t-shirt could. It...
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