The Midwest Clinic – Part 1

I’m terrible, I know. I promised to write more about the Midwest Clinic. And I haven’t done it yet, but what can I say? First there was Christmas, and New Years, and new children in the daycare, and puke, and… and… OK, no more excuses, time to write.
Teacher and I had two FANTASTIC days in Chicago at the Midwest Clinic! We planned to leave early Thursday morning, but first we had to stop at the gas station, then we had to go back home to drop off the car seats we’d forgotten to take out of the car, then we went through McDonald’s drive through for breakfast Cinnamon Melts, hash browns and Diet Coke – Yummy! we ended up leaving Appleton almost an hour later than we’d planned.

Since we’ve always lived at least an eight-hour drive away from family we’re used to long car trips so the four-hour drive to Chicago flew by. At least for me it did; I was reading the Glamour magazines that had piled up unread over the past few months while Teacher did all the driving. Even if he would let me drive on a trip there’s NO WAY I would drive in Chicago – those people are nuts! They have no fear; cutting in right and left, slamming on their brakes right in front of you, zipping across three lanes to take an exit… I find myself holding my breath and clutching the edges of the seats whenever we’re driving in Chicago.

Teacher got us safely to the Palmer House where we paid the extra $8.00 for valet parking. I thought it was totally worth it to unload our bags right at the curb and let someone else worry about where to park. After checking in and dumping our bags and stuff in the room I was starved. The first time we went to Midwest Clinic we made the mistake of buying lunch at the Clinic: $15.00 for a sandwich, chips and a soda – Ouch! This time we were smarter and decided to walk “up the block” to find lunch. I’d left my coat in the room because I didn’t want to be bothered with it at the Clinic, but it was a “balmy” 32 degrees so I figured I’d be OK for a couple of blocks. Six long blocks later I was wishing I had my coat, but we’d finally found an affordable place to eat – good old McDonalds again!

The wind was in our faces on the way back to the Palmer House but I was brave and didn’t whine – too much. We got back to the hotel and hopped on the shuttle to the Hilton, where the conference was being held. Once we arrived there we and hit our first snag: we hadn’t pre-registered and the computer systems went down right in the middle of registering Teacher. Because we didn’t have our Official Name Badges we couldn’t go to any workshops or browse the exhibits, so we stood around for almost half an hour waiting for the system to get back online. I started to think that they should just hand-write the name badges and take all the information to input later when the system came back up again. Finally we could do some Clinic stuff!

First up – a workshop entitled “The Wind Band Sound: ‘A Definitive Guide to Ensemble Intonation’ Practical Performance Applications”. Now, isn’t THAT a mouthful?!

To be continued…
(I promise!)

Amy Sue

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