There’s this thing, in the States, called the National Conference for Education in the Ceramic Arts. It’s big. It’s flashy. It is to potters what Comic Con is to geeks. It is a mecca of panels, workshops, presentations, gear, materials and demos. Six thousand potters showed up to last year’s. Six thousand! That’s not even counting the vendors, the gallery reps, the academics, or even the sculptors and conceptual art crowd. And I’ve been dying to go ever since I found out it existed.
This year I said, “Yeah, sure. If I get a grant, I’ll go.”
The grant-getting has been a long and frustrating process, mainly because of having to chase down documents. I don’t know yet if I’ll get any money or not. Even if I do get approved, the event is split over two fiscal years, and I’ll only get a grant for whatever expenses I can incur before March 31st. Any grant monies for the other half will be handed over (if I get approved for that) when the program funding comes in (if it gets approved) sometime around August or September. I have spent a lot of time waiting for documents to come together, and will spend more waiting to hear whether or not the grant-granting gods are friendly to me.
Yesterday, I snapped. I decided, fuck this waiting around. I want to go, and I’m going. If I get a grant, great, but I’m not missing out this year. I’ve got a travel buddy to share costs with, I’ve got some orders due to be paid this month, and I’ve got more orders coming for the summer. I will be able to afford this somehow.
Besides, it’s in Florida this year. I’ve never been to Florida. And do you know how desperate I’ll be to escape winter by the end of March?
 I’ve never even been to the States, except for a quick drive-through detour to Maine on the way from New Brunswick to Quebec one year, and Maine is just New Brunswick with more guns and less French. It’s not exactly exotic. The only other times I’ve been out of the country it’s been for university courses. It was great, but travel just isn’t as much fun when there’s an exam at the end.
 If you are not a geek and/or do not know what Comic Con is, you may substitute “Woodstock for hippies” or “some big important thing for some group that thinks it’s important”.
 … if Woodstock had involved more people and air conditioning and better food and probably less drugs and sex and also happened more often.”