“He wondered if normalcy was something, like vision or silence, you didn’t realize was precious until you lost it.”
My Dad recently celebrated his 65th birthday, and my youngest brother and his family, who live in Georgia, surprised him by driving through the night and showing up for his birthday dinner on Saturday. Sunday was the big family celebration (like 62 people big) where we ate, drank and had a very intense game of wiffle ball with 20+ of my cousins and their children on the back lawn. My grandma escaped assisted living, where she still feels like a prisoner, and was able to meet her 28th great-grandchild. It was normal. In fact, it was the first “normal” family function we have had in over 15 months.
I realize for some in certain states, “normal” never really changed, or only changed for a short while. But for others, normal is just coming back, or at least what this new normal is going to be. I’ve been in my new position for nine months now. In previous years, the flurry of meetings or activities that the president usually attends is about once a month. Things have been a little different this year. Meetings are either cancelled or virtual. We are “Zoomed” out. In August, 11 months in to this position and my last little stint, I will finally be able to represent AABP at a meeting in person. How exciting!
I think many of us are anxious to start socializing and connecting again. What better way to do that than attend our very own in-person annual conference in Salt Lake City? We are so excited to be able to gather this year. The conference is October 7-9. The program committee has done a great job of gathering the speakers and content for the “Science with Practice” theme. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Caroline Jurney who will be speaking in regard to “Not One More Vet.” We will also get to hear from our two vice president candidates, Dr. Fred Muller and Dr. Dave Sjeklocha. There are over 22.5 hours of RACE-approved continuing education, 13 preconference seminars, as well as eight clinical forums to choose from. How normal does this all sound? How about a trade show and the always entertaining Amstutz Scholarship Live and Silent Auction? I am going to promise you right now, in writing, that I will not be auctioning off the electro-ejaculator this year… just as an FYI for all of those powers-that-be on the Amstutz Auction Committee!! Oh, and for all of the crazies out there who enjoy getting up super early on the last day, after being up super late the last few nights, we will have the 5K Stampede Fun Run!
We will have the virtual, live-streaming option again this year, and registration is open for both in-person and virtual at /meeting/register2021.asp. I would like to take a minute to remind members that staying in our hotel blocks helps us keep the costs of the conference affordable. The organization is going to pay for those rooms whether you stay in them or not. Staying in our hotel blocks fulfills our contractual obligations for the meeting and is overall financially helpful to the organization. Besides, it’s way more fun to see what other cow vets you are going to run into in the elevator or at the hotel bar!!!
Just as the quote above says, we didn’t realize how precious normal was, until we lost it. We all know normal is going to look a little different now, but I, for one, and I know those of us on the Executive Committee and Board, are excited for a normal conference. We hope you are as excited as we are and will join us in Salt Lake!
Dr. Carie Telgen