Christina Vasilevski

Toronto Writer/Editor for Content Strategy and User Experience.

Montreal, Day 1

So, the first day of my trip to Montreal is done. I don’t attend my first workshop until tomorrow, and the conference proper doesn’t even start until Saturday, but today involved lots and lots of travel. There were car rides to the local train station, then train rides to an even bigger train station, then the big big train ride to Montreal, and then (yes) another train ride to the hostel I’m staying at.

Did I mention that I had my purse, a laptop bag, and a third piece of luggage to juggle around across two cities? And that I (foolishly) decided to bring along my black trench coat? Or that it was very hot and humid in Montreal? And that to get to the lobby of the hostel, I had to climb a flight of narrow stairs? And, finally, did I mention that I have to PAY to use the lockers at this hostel? The one I went to last year in New York allowed travelers to secure the lockers using their own combination locks, so I thought it would be the case here (and so I bought a new lock when I couldn’t find the old one I’d been using since grade seven), but evidently not.

Fun!

But I have persevered. Now, I am on top of a bunk bed in the basement of a hostel, with a belly full of very cheap and satisfying pub grub courtesy of Le Saint-Sulpice. Dinner involved meeting up with other editors from across the country (hailing from places as diverse as Halifax  and Athabasca) and chatting, learning about their careers, and putting names to faces – and in some cases, faces to names. As the evening wore on, the weather cooled down and breezed up, and I managed to find my way back to the hostel from the restaurant all by myself, just trusting to my memory from the way there. As I walked up Rue St-Denis, enjoying the sounds of people chatting and realizing that I actually knew where I was going, I felt more independent than I had in a long, long time.

Musings about the EAC

With only about a month and a half to go before the EAC conference, I still have to book my accommodations. I just can’t decide what hostel to stay in, or even if I should stay at a hostel at all. Research on where to stay has been inconclusive, but I really have to break away from the victim mentality that comes too easily from being a young woman visiting an unfamiliar city by herself.

Other than that, I found out about two nice EAC initiatives today: the Conference Buddy system and the mentoring program.

The mentoring program is exactly how it sounds: people with experience partner up with new editors and provide guidance on how to become a better editor. The pilot project has now finished, and now the program has been opened so that Toronto branch members can act as mentors or mentees. I’m still working on my application, but you get three guesses as to what I’m applying to be.

The mentor program is something that I’ve been expecting to become public for the last little while. However, I only found out today about the EAC’s “Conference Buddy” program. If you join, you’re matched up with a group of other “buddy” editors and are encouraged to chat and get to know each other before heading to Montreal. Then, at the conference, these people become your anchor group that you’re encouraged to keep in touch with during seminars, lunches, and other social events. Since this is my first conference, it seems like a wonderful way to meet new people and  break the ice. I’m really looking forward to it.