After a week of lemon and honey tea’s, medicine and more time in my bed than I care to admit, I am back on my feet. My fingers were just itching to get back to dancing all over my keyboard, even if my mind was occupied with thoughts of sleep.
So, whether you missed me or were unaware of my sudden disappearance, I’m going to begin right where I left off and share the rest of my thoughts from NASH 75.
I went to the majority of the conferences and workshops on the final day, since there seemed to be the most variety at that time, and what surprised me is that the one I was looking forward to going to the least was actually the most fascinating. They were discussing the importance of data journalism, which right away sends my mind reeling; we came to learn how to right, not to look at numbers! This was a temporary thought. Once they started talking, and demonstrating the things you can do with certain data compilation programs, it became extremely fascinating.
Basically, they showed us how to create maps upon which you can represent pages of complicated data with a series of simple dots, displaying it in a manner that is immediately understood. They even showed us programs that we can use in order to make them look a little more fancy, or customize them to our liking. This is a skill that is actually in rather high demand in the realm of journalism. Our purpose, after all, is to bring the facts to the masses as quickly and accurately as possible, and these data representations bring information down to a level where anyone and everyone can understand.
One of the other highlights of the last day actually had little to do with the conference itself, but it connected very closely with the inner book worm in me. With a few of my fellow Fulcrumites, I traveled a few blocks from the hotel to visit the place of my dreams; the Worlds Biggest Book Store!
I’m not sure if this was, indeed, the world’s largest book store, but I must confess that it was bigger than any I have ever been in. There was more than one level, and even a sub store right next to it where you can purchase used books, magazines, movies, etc. It really felt like one of those places that has something for everyone. It was the only place I felt comfortable enough to visit again by myself later on during my stay in Toronto. Not that it’s a dangerous city, but when you don’t know your way around, even the safest place can create an atmosphere of intimidation and paranoia.
I probably already stated this before, but I will repeat it so long as it continues to be true; this conference has made me more sure than ever that I want to become a journalist.
There is so much that happened at NASH 75, and I would love to share it all, but just like I get sick of eating peanut butter if I eat it for breakfast every day, I’m sure you guys are tried of following the same topic day after day. So starting tomorrow, I will get back to my regular blogging schedule. Until then, happy reading!