reeNTEring, a fifth time

Last year, NTE was a charm. This year, I was up against it.

Day 1

An early and uneventful drive to Canberra in Dad’s car concluded with a timely arrival at Exhibition Park in Canberra, via Goulburn Macca’s for breakfast. There I discovered a few things that weren’t to my taste – Motel Formule 1 was where I was staying (Veithy had told me all about it last year), and I had a mixed group.

After figuring myself out, I checked out the Moore College stall (I was to proceed to hang out here quite a fair bit), and watched as logistics failed to account for the amount of time it takes to move 1200+ people into an auditorium (hint – more than 5 minutes).

John Dickson gave the first talk, and apart from a googly involving gematria, it was an otherwise good talk from Matthew 1.

Lunch revealed just how it was that we were getting fed. Long queues, mass-produced-quality food, and plastic everywhere.

Strand time, on the other hand, produced a classic Warnie flipper – only half my group was there! Arghhh!

For the rest of the afternoon, we checked into our rooms. I discovered I was rooming with Ben Adamo.

After dinner, Andrew Reid spoke – I didn’t realise he was competing with Richard Chin for shortest AFES National Director. He spoke well, and in many ways, helped cover Strand 2, which was just as well, as we tended to run low on time over the week.

Day 2

Most of the strand group was there on the second day. I was still co-leaderless, and the timing of everything was starting to get to me.

Today was the first of the 3 Kingdom Thinking elective sessions. I’d elected Ethics with Andrew Cameron to see if I could get ahead for next year :) Ethics turned out to be a good choice either way.

Post lunch was the first arvo free time. I spent it mostly in the air-conditioned comfort of the expo/bookstall area, minding the stall with Anna B and Gary Nelson. For the rest of the conference, the afternoons, as a whole, were generally quiet. After that, we went to a pub and chilled for a while.

Day 3

A surprising thing happened. The missing strand group member turned up. Oh man. At least Dan was here.

The day was mostly the same, except it was even quieter, and I decided I need some extended rest, and so skipped the night session and returned to my room.

Day 4

I was much better after the night off. And I was feeling a little better about the group as well.

Free time was quiet as usual, but I finally got in some game-playing time, Dominion in normal mode (came 2nd) and in Size Distortion mode (won).

Most of the college peeps went out to Dickson Dumpling House for dinner. After the food we were having, this was awesome. Thanks to Kate N for organising that.

The post-talk session was busy with people. I don’t think I’ve had to answer quite so many questions, and I now have ideas for such things in the future.

Day 5

The talks turned out better than I expected. Things ended well. John Dickson spoke at the last session.
We organised for a posse to gather at Goulburn Macca’s. It turns out that we got there a few minutes before a post-NTE rush overwhelmed the place.

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