Sep. 29th, 2009

terriko: (Default)
Written for the official GHC blog, cross-posted here for my friends.

I summed up my day of volunteering as a Hopper in less than 140 characters on Twitter:

@terriko terriko the #ghc09 Hopper workout: 3000 steps while doing upper body reps -- also known as filling all the conference bags with neat stuff!


But since a picture's worth a thousand words, and I'm also volunteering as a photographer and blogger, I thought I should put it all together for you to see how things are starting to come together here in Tuscon.

For the Monday Hopper assignments, we were filling the conference bags. The room was filled with tables, boxes, and volunteers. And those boxes are filled with cool stuff! I'm going to leave the bag contents as a surprise, but I've got to say it was neat to see tech company logos on women-oriented swag, as well as all the neat general tech swag we were packaging.

GHC09: Hopper volunteers walk around filling the bags


We found a few ways to speed up the process of filling the bags. Some Hoppers collected paper items together for easier grabbing. The rest of us walked around the room, over and over again, with a bag, grabbing swag from each box and filling it up. Many of us quickly discovered that we could do two bags at once if we put one on either arm and used both hands to fill them! But just because your hands were busy didn't mean you couldn't talk -- technology, research, teaching, working... As I moved around sometimes I only heard snatches of very cool conversations, and sometimes a few of us would synch up and walk together and chat. So many smart women, interested in stuff I think is cool! I totally eavesdropped every chance I could, and joined in when I could too.

GHC09 bags GHC09: Three lovely ladies package small swag GHC09: A demonstration of the two-handed bag stuffing technique GHC09: Filling folders


The problem with the two-hand technique is that your arms start to get sore from lifting and stuffing! And once my arms got sore, I got to thinking about how much exercise this was, so I grabbed my pedometer to see how many steps it was, and estimated back to figure out how many I did. Some of the other volunteers may have done more, since I stopped to take photos when my arms got tired!

The benefit to all this efficiency is that we finished super early, so it wasn't long before we were back out in the crazy hot Tuscon weather, enjoying the beautiful scenery:

The CU-WISE women - me + cactus at GHC09


PS - If you want some more photos to whet your appetite, you can see my GHC09 gallery or check out our GHC group on flickr! There are already pre-conference photos going up there!

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