Oh, what to do first?

That is probably the most pertinent question after the absolutely awesome BDÜ Conference 2019 in Bonn two weeks ago. The fact that I’m only now getting around to write about it shows you already how (positively) overwhelming that weekend was. I jokingly said to friends and colleagues that I needed about a month of vacation to digest and implement even half of the information I got, but really that was no joke.
Unfortunately, I don’t have that time right now, as my regular life has kept moving along at the by now unfortunately familiar, somewhat crazy pace of the last months. True, christmas vacation is coming, but it still seems like a far way off…

But back to the conference. This was my third one organized by the BDÜ, and although the other two were good in their own right, this one was by far the best. I took copious notes like never before (digitally, via pictures and with good old-fashioned pen and paper) trying to get the most of all the sessions and workshops I had chosen (and boy was that choice a hard one to make!) and still somehow found time to meet up with old friends and new colleagues.

There were so many great speakers and topics, I really feel myself hard-pressed to pick out the best ones. There was just so much good, interesting, thought-provoking information, I really don’t know where to start. I have quite a few things on my to do list, some of them to look into, some to implement, so I might have to actually take my laptop on vacation with me… Not what I usually do, but then again, that would probably be really more fun than work.

Two highlights I want to mention, though, because it is highly unlikely that I will get another opportunity any time soon to do this:
I jumped in at short notice as room coordinator for one session with three parts, meaning I got to introduce the speakers, make sure they didn’t run over their assigned time slots and field the questions. The part that made it so special? My room was the plenary hall, i.e. the chamber where the Bundestag used to meet and which has been kept as is, so you really feel like you’re attending a parliamentary session. So standing at the front, facing all those seats with the Federal Eagle at my back, was really quite an experience.
The other highlight was my part on the interpreters‘ team for said plenary hall, and I got to interpret the award ceremony of the Hieronymus and Dr.-Stanisalw-Gierlicki Awards on Saturday evening together with a colleague. I was so excited to get to sit in the booth where countless interpreters used to work for the Bundestag. The view really was something else, and the feeling, indescribable.

So, yeah, I’m still not sure what to do first and when to do it, but the information overload is starting to sort itself into managable pieces which I will tackle one at a time. The first task is already done now – writing a blog post! 😉

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Anke Betz

Anke Betz

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