In an earlier post on this blog, I shared some highlights from my experience at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. My husband and I were drawn in by the novelty of the event and really didn’t know what to expect.
Bottom line: We had loads of fun!
I’m proud to announce that the post is among a handful that are featured in the March Monthly Roundup on the Sharing Travel Experiences site!
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Signs crowded with flashing lights, a light layer of snow on the ground, men with cowboy hats and handlebar mustaches, women in cowboy hats and ruffled skirts, music, poetry, and a semi-cleanish room at the Motel 6.
You’ve just gotten a glimpse into my weekend at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV.
Prior to heading out to the Poetry Gathering, I blogged about five reasons I was looking forward to the event. For the sake of symmetry, here’s a list of five highlights from the weekend.
- Cowboy wit. Nearly all the poetry readings we attended were lighthearted and included an element of comedy. While many of the poems and stories were heartfelt and personal, the poets’ wit kept the atmosphere lively.
- Zydeco music. On Saturday night we danced the night away to a Zydeco band from Louisiana. Well…we danced to a few of the songs anyway. Or at least attempted to. But wow, could the folks there dance! And I agree with my husband’s theory that other couples were trying to dance-herd us off the floor (just like when we were run off the Polka dance floor at the Viennese Ball in Eau Claire a few years ago)!
- Mustache mug. This was in the gift shop at the Elko Convention Center. At first it wasn’t obvious to me why the mug had the inset drinking slit. I eventually realized that it was to help keep your moustache dry when drinking. Clever.
- Music and drinks at the Stray Dog. A cozy downtown pub with good food and a good band, the Stray Dog offered my husband and me an enjoyable first night in Elko that got us in the mood for some cowboy fun.
- Lazy evenings. Sure, I can have lazy evenings at home too…but there’s something more enjoyable about a lazy evening away from home. The scheduling gap between the afternoon readings and nighttime entertainment gave my husband and me time relax, debrief, and be inspired.
My husband offers an entertaining perspective on the event on our personal blog. He’s written two posts – click here and here if you’re curious.
Overall, the weekend was fun, relaxing, and inspirational. I’ll definitely consider going again next year.
Photo Credit: Shelley A. Gable
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Lots of twos: I’ve had two posts on two blogs come out each of the last two days. Both are blogs I regularly contribute to.
The concept explained in this post is simple: we tend to remember the start and end of things better than we remember the stuff in the middle. Anyone who has taken some kind of learning psych or cognitive psych type of course has formally learned about these primacy and recency effects (and of course, the concept still makes perfect sense to those who haven’t taken those courses).
But interestingly, I’ve noticed that many folks in training don’t apply these concepts to their work. In other words, even though they know that learners are likely to remember how courses start and end if we put effort into making it memorable, much of the training I see tends to start and end in very boring ways. It’s a lost instructional opportunity. And that’s the point of that most recent ILS blog post.
Again, not rocket science: In order to remember something newly learned, you have to apply it. Otherwise, it’s quickly forgotten. While “applying it” can mean using that newly learned information to complete a task, “applying it” can sometimes be as simple as talking about it.
I’m not the greatest at remembering obscure trivia…but if odd facts come up in a conversation, there’s a decent chance I’ll remember the factiod later. This article explains why that is and encourages readers to talk to peers about what they learn in continuing education courses.
So there’s my writing updates.
On a personal note, I’m still looking forward to heading to Elko for some cowboy poetry fun (not to mention a much needed four-day weekend)! My husband and I are hoping to volunteer at the event for one of the days we’re there. Nothing specific is planned yet, but I’ve been in touch with the organizers, so hopefully something comes through later in the week. Regardless, we’ve got a fun little road trip and an interesting weekend ahead!
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I recently learned about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering from a friend. From what I’ve pieced together, it sounds like a one-week event in which real cowboys from all over the country gather to share their love of poetry, music, dance, and perhaps other forms of expression.
What Is It?
It’s a week of poetry readings, shows, and educational events. And, it’s an exciting opportunity for someone like me, who has an appreciation for the arts but is relatively clueless about this segment of American culture, to get a glimpse into another perspective and way of life. I CAN’T WAIT!!!
Well, that’s my take anyway. If you’re interested in a more official description, you should probably visit the 26th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering website.
Now on to the List
Because we people love lists, here’s a list of five reasons why (in no particular order) I’m looking forward to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
- It’ll be fun to meet people that I’d otherwise be unlikely to cross paths with. We’re hoping to spend a day volunteering at the event, so that should help. And we have plans to meet up with some local folks we found on couchsurfing.org.
- I love learning about group culture. Whether it’s national culture, regional culture, organizational culture, or another category entirely. It’s all interesting to me. Bring on the cowboy and ranching culture!
- I love hearing writers read their work. Audiobooks read by the author. Poetry readings. Artists performing their own music. It really brings a piece to life.
- It’s an excuse to get out of town and go somewhere new. Who doesn’t enjoy a weekend getaway? I’ve never been to Nevada.
- Inspiration. An event like this must be oozing with inspiration! As a budding writer, I’ll take all the inspiration I can get!
Well, there you have it. If I wanted to think about this a while longer, I could probably expand this into a list of ten. But for the sake of getting back to what this distracted me from, I’m willing to be satisfied with five.
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