Thursday, February 14, 2008

Arrived for E-Learning 2008

I'm getting settled into my room at the TradeWinds Grand Beach Resort. Looks like this is going to suck pretty bad.

There will no doubt be people out there who criticize us for coming to a beach resort for this conference. They'll think something along the lines of: "It's too expensive, you're wasting state dollars," or "Is this just a paid vacation?" or "This just has a bad smell to it, so there must be something wrong with it," or "It's not fair that I don't get to go." For those people I'll add this for your consideration, which may help with the financial part of attending this conference.

I'll be attending the Higher Learning Commission annual meetings in Chicago in April. The airfare and hotel room for four nights in Chicago for the HLC meetings will cost me $125 more than the hotel and four nights here at St. Pete Beach. Also, I will pay for Internet access in Chicago which is free here. My ground transportation to-and-from the airport will cost more in Chicago than here. The cost of meals in Chicago anywhere near the HLC meetings is unbelievably expensive, much more expensive than it is here. However, as far as the meals go, the State of Minnesota will pay the same per diem amount in both places. That per diem falls far short of the cost of eating in Chicago (less than what you'll usually pay for dinner alone), which means that I will have the privilege of paying the extra costs out of my own pocket while in Chicago. On top of that, during the ITC conference they provide almost every meal as part of the registration fee. At HLC, they don't provide any meals during the regular conference.

All told, it will cost the State of Minnesota approximately $300 more for me to go to the Chicago conference than to come to this conference in St. Pete. It will personally cost me about $100 more to go to Chicago than here. So, you can complain about this all you want - with the exception of being able to complain about it being too expensive.

Just in case anyone asks.

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