Look no further.
Today’s “Why Should You Attend SHA?” post by John Elder will do the trick.
John, an Indianapolis native, is a natural entertainer. He worked at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, in Fishers, Indiana, for nearly 14 years. He wowed us with his guitar skills and hospitality (he and his beautiful wife, Tara, invited the SHA Class of 2011 to their lovely home for dinner). Did I mention that he has an impeccable sense of humor?
I’m obviously a fan.
So what does John have to say about SHA?
Are you satisfied with the status quo? Are you comfortable with the path of diminishing relevancy you, your institution, and the history field are on? Do you see long-term economic success laid out ahead of you as far as the eye can see? Asked to do less programming with more? If you answered “YES!” to any of these questions, SHA is not for you.
No, really, don’t worry about it. Leave this immersive, engaging, thought-provoking, boot camp for the mentally gifted to those who are hungry enough to make a difference in their institutions and communities. You probably wouldn’t like being challenged by and equipped with new ideas, approaches and perspectives anyhow.
Here’s what’s you’d be missing (no big deal):
• A support network and the camaraderie of fellow seekers just like you
• A rolodex (like that’s even still a thing outside of your collection) of and exposure to national movers and shakers within the field
• Gaining new perspectives on what your peers are up to during these difficult times
• Clarity on the industry as a whole as well your path in it
• Innovative ideas on mission and how to accomplish it
• An extended stay in Indianapolis, a super city with culture, class and gastronomic delights
SHA? More like “Pshaw!” You know what else is a drag about learning…. Still reading? Good, that means you’re thorough; John Durel will appreciate that. Ok, here’s the thing: SHA is the real deal. Front line staff, upper lower middle management (like myself when I attended) and executive directors alike all have a seat at the SHA table and will benefit from the endeavor. SHA 2011 had directors, a registrar from Ohio, supervisors, managers, a communications guru and more. All were able to contribute and brought interesting and unique perspectives…and they were just the attendees. Three weeks with them alone would be worth the price of admission, let alone the exposure you’ll get from national leaders every day.
Three weeks away from work? How about three weeks of thinking big thoughts, being bold and sharpening your proverbial saw, all while questioning the status quo. Afraid of missing that much work? Guess what, the work will still be there and, with very few exceptions, your institution will not collapse while you are away.
Not sure that your higher-ups will think you’re worth the investment? You are. Do it for your institution. Do it for the field. Do it for yourself.
History matters. SHA matters. You matter. Apply now.
Thanks, John! Your post makes me wish I could apply for SHA, again.
“Why Should You Attend SHA?”
#11: Attending professional conferences is no substitute for the SHA experience (Bob Hart)
#10: SHA is the optimal learning environment (Kyle McKoy)
#9: SHA: Unbeatable professional training & powerful personal relationships (Mark Sundlov)
#8: SHA: A Fertile Environment for Real Learning, Powerful Networking & Organizational Change (Jason Crabill)
#7: SHA is a Career-Changing Experience (Becca Loofbourrow)
#6: SHA reminded me how lucky I am to do what I do (Jamie Glavic)
#5: From a Culture of SHA, I am in Hook, Line & Sinker (Sarah Milligan)
#4: SHA is an Awesome “Camp” for Adults in Our Field (Cynthia Capers)
#3: SHA: A Necessary Catalyst that Helped Refine & Affirm My Place in the Field & Commitment to It (Lillian Diep)
#2: History Matters. SHA Matters. You Matter. (John Elder)