The next months hold promises of new adventures ... .
... not the least of which is that I will be experiencing my first SKYPE session. Been invited to interact with Ohio's Wilberforce University students -- the oldest black private college in the country -- which means that I will be live on video from our conference room at National Park Service headquarters in the Richmond Civic Center -- and they will be participating in some gathering place on campus. I'm told that there could be up to 90 students from 3 combined classes. It will probably not be a formal presentation, but a Q&A covering my work and their interests, though the details have yet to be worked out. Have no idea what to expect, but I'm up for it, and can't imagine being cowed by the distance. Technology will take care of that, I'm certain. What a time to be alive ... .
I'm certain that as long as there are "first times" still happening, that life is still unfolding -- and who could possibly ask for more in one's final decade?
There is another program being done in the same way -- this time for the Annual Philadelphia Flower Show
in March -- where the expected visitation is 200,000 (surely not all at the same time), but since I've never been to Philadelphia -- and will have the experience of Wilberforce to fall back on by that time -- pretty exciting, right? Maybe this will be what the future will be like, with fewer trips to faraway places, and more opportunities to extend the boundaries of our park through technology. Interesting?
My schedule of programs and audiences have increased from 3/wk to 5 at times, and thus far it doesn't appear to be adding to feelings of stress, but I'm mindful of the potential for that happening -- as are those around me. I do feel supported and protected by staff and my co-workers -- and that's a blessing. After all, these golden years can easily be reduced to pot metal if we aren't careful .. . For that reason if for no other, it's probably wise that these televised sessions are being introduced. I suspect that this will add to my ability to continue the work -- at least a bit longer.