So, I’m very excited to report that I’m leaving for Chicago tomorrow. My friend K and I have been anticipating this trip for almost six months now. Today is like Christmas Eve for a couple of die hard academics because this trip is like a trip to the Statistics Mecca. We’re going to attend a three-day workshop on Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) with the two founders of the statistical technique and my palms are sweating with anticipation. (Don’t be jealous, I can certainly share my notes with all of you when I get back.)

HLM was the technique that I used to analyze the sentencing data for my dissertation. While I’ve previously taken an HLM class, there’s nothing like an intensive workshop to help achieve mastery of the technique. Since I’m no longer in school, workshops and seminars are the way for me to keep on top of what’s current in the social sciences. Plus, these workshops totally appeal to the geek in me. I secretly covet them.

While I understand that statistics workshops aren’t every one’s idea of a good time, I’m sure that we’ll get in a lot of shopping, bar hopping and pizza after the class breaks for the day. Randomly, one of my triathlon training partners is going to be in Chicago the exact same days as I am AND staying at the same hotel. That means that we can wake up at 6am and go running through downtown on Wednesday and Friday morning. Statistics and running at 6am…it just doesn’t get any better than that!

As always, I’ll have my camera with me, so I’ll be sure to share all of our Chi-Town fun. We leave on an early flight tomorrow, so I better get packing…


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