Friday, April 10, 2009

Conference on World Affairs

This week the Conference on World Affairs took place at the University of Colorado in Boulder. This is the 61st occurrence of a wonderful conference that deals with a wide variety of global topics. It was open to the public free of charge, and the audiences included students through retirees. I attended two sessions on writing and one on comedy. Next year I’ll have to plan ahead so I’ll have more time to go to more sessions. One of the panels I attended was titled, “Reading Fiction Helps Me Live in the Real World” with Teresa Jordan, Terry McNally and Allan Peterson as panelists. Terry related how he teaches storytelling in the organizational world and that a good story has to have flesh and blood characters, relate a change taking place and use pacing to slow down and show images. Teresa cautioned that people who think they have found the ultimate truth run the risk of then only trying to find evidence of that truth and losing their openness to new insights. Allan stated that all conversation involves stories. As someone who writes about older characters (geezer-lit) and being involved in volunteer activities in support of older people, I found one topic conspicuously missing at the conference. Of the 187 sessions over the week, there were exactly zero that dealt with the topic of aging. I’ve sent a suggestion that this be included next year

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