And so it happens that I am sitting in a coffee shop in Saint Paul, about to attend the U.S. Department of Education's 22nd Annual Meeting on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention in Higher Education conference, "Ensuring the Safety and Well-Being of Our Students: Widening the Lens of Prevention." I am so checked out from this that until I arrived late last night I had not even processed that the DOE was the sponsor!
I am (obviously) here for the violence prevention part. The fact that alcohol and drug "abuse" are in the mix is a delicious personal irony. (But the fact that every day starts and ends with a twelve-step meeting--seriously, I kid you not--suggest that I am not the only one in the warning: hypocrisy alert boat.) As I always do at the beginning of a conference, I am poring over the program and marking the sessions I plan to attend. I am going to be a good girl and actually attend the sessions devoted to violence against women (a program on reporting options; a two-part case-study about a comprehensive violence-prevention framework; a session on program assessment; maybe something on social marketing).
But, oh! Look what I will have to miss in the process: There is a session on FERPA led by--guess who???--LeRoy Rooker! There's a name I remember fondly! And an intriguing-sounding session called "U.S. Dept. of Education-U.S. Secret Service Threat Assessment Training." That will, no doubt, be a blast. It's led--as it turns out, many workshops are--by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
Um, how did I get here again?