By Brenda Bethman
Welcome to “Blog Prompt Monday”! Here’s today’s prompt:
How has technology/social media changed your conference experiences?
We hope you’ll join us in blogging about these prompts with us. I will be posting my response here later today. If you write a response on your blog, please include it in the comments below and tag it on Twitter with the #sawomenblog hashtag – we look forward to reading your posts!
By Brenda Bethman
As a child, I always had multiple answers to the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question. There seemed to be too many options available for me to be able to settle on one. I was convinced that doing only one thing would prove to be boring. The only thing I knew for sure is that there had better be plenty of books involved as I have never been far from a book since I learned how to read.
I am happy to say that I achieved both goals. After college, I worked as a stage manager and dresser in the theater, waited tables, bartended and finally went to graduate school for my M.A. and Ph.D. in German literature, with the intention of becoming a tenure-track faculty member. Life, in the form of graduate assistantships working in the administrative side and getting married to someone in the same field, intervened, however, and I eventually made my way to where I am now: Director of the Women’s Center, Acting Director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program, and Affiliated Faculty in German in the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I also teach for the Honors Program and the College of Arts & Sciences first year experience program. It’s definitely not dull and there are indeed a LOT of books in my life!
Along the way, I also picked up an affinity for computers and social media. I’m young enough that I took a programming class in high school and old enough that I still used a typewriter for my papers until my senior year in college (using the all-in-one Macintosh computers available in the lab at Dickinson). The first computer I owned was a Tandy running Windows 3.1. I’ve been through any number of desktops and laptops since then, running all flavors of Windows, finally circling back to Apple just recently. Over the years, I’ve also served as unofficial tech support to friends, family, and colleagues.
While I was reluctant to get into social media at first, I have since enthusiastically embraced it and at last count, am in some way responsible for 4 Twitter accounts, 5 Facebook pages (plus my profile), and 5 blogs. Not to mention Flickr, YouTube, and multiple email accounts. I am excited to count this blog as part of that list and look forward to engaging with you all here!