CNN is reporting that 2500 students at Washington State University have come down with the H1N1 virus. From the article:
…officials were surprised that the long Labor Day weekend, when most students left campus, did not do more to interrupt the virus’ spread.
Long Labor Day weekend, eh?
Maybe some of these students who left campus went across (EDIT: different towns!) the state to PAX. The Penny-Arcade Expo was also hit with H1N1. I mean, (EDIT!) Washington’s a big place, but it’s no stretch to imagine a few thousand local college students hitting a convention geared towards their demographic, right?
I’m not pointing fingers at anybody here. I’m just drawing connections that the CNN folks really should have already drawn — there was a big event (EDIT!) across the state, and both the University and a crowded convention center make for a fantastic confluence of vectors.
You know what? H1N1 notwithstanding, I still wish I could have made it to PAX this year. But I’m glad I’m not in college anymore.
I think my favorite part about GenCon was when my good friend ssanfratello showed up on Saturday evening following a 5-hour drive from Michigan, and he, Jonathan “Skippy” Schwarz and I went out for dinner. Skippy had a game demo to run aftewards, so Sal and I hit the convention center (which had just been emptied, and then re-filled thanks to a fire alarm) and walked through the game areas.
Upshot: For me it’s never about places or events. It’s always about people. The thrill of a convention center full of cool displays and awesome programming pales quickly when I bump into a friend and we get to geek out together.
Sandra was suggesting family trips for next summer and I realized that I don’t care where we go as long as we go someplace where there are people I like. Sure, sure, I’ll be going WITH people I like, but I want to catch up with old friends and make new ones. I don’t need to see the sights, ride the rides, or even eat the authentic eats. Not unless I’m doing it with friends.
This Friday and Saturday, September 22nd and 23rd, I will be at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore Pennsylvania. Freeculture.org is hosting a lecture series, and a few of us who make our living by “giving our stuff away” are going to be there to talk about it.
If you can’t make the Friday evening lecture (which begins at 7:00pm in “Science Center 199 Cunniff Hall”), my position on the matter can be summed up in the phrase “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.”
If you CAN make the lecture, rest assured that copies of Schlock Mercenary: Under New Management and Tagon pins will be on-hand and for sale. I’ll also be able to whip out quick sketches (On scratch and in copies of books), and I may even try to find time for a paid commission or two.
You gotta hand it to those folks at Swarthmore, they know how to cover their bases — in case I‘m not enough of a draw, or insufficiently erudite for the university environment, they’ve also invited J.D. Frazier, Eric Burns, Wednesday White, Shaenon Garrity, and Rich Burlew.
There’ll be breakout sessions on Saturday from 1:00pm through about 6:00pm. I don’t have a schedule, but all events appear to be in rooms 183, 181, and 199 in the Science Center. I’ll be presenting “Business for Artsy Types” and maybe offering a discourse on the mechanics of a good punchline.
Sadly, there’s no time for me to do a comics shop appearance while I’m in the area. You’ll just have to screw up your courage and set foot on campus…