Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Newfoundland & CTRA Conference

Wayne Bishop, Anne-Marie Sullivan, Sean Pardy, Paul Hanrahan, Nancy Hodder, -- the names of Newfoundlanders who made the recent CTRA Conference such a great success go on and on. Everyone that my wife and I met in Newfoundland couldn't have been nicer. What a group of wonderfully welcoming people!

My wife and I had remarkable stay during the CTRA Conference held last week in Saint John's, Newfoundland, Canada. We certainly enjoyed both the people and the place.

From the time Wayne Bishop and his daughter greeted us at the Saint John's Airport until the moment we left, my wife and I had the time of our lives. Newfoundland and Saint John's are "must see" places and the people there could not be any more friendly. If you haven't visited Newfoundland, you have missed something wonderful. And I would recommend you travel this time of the year if possible -- so you can view the icebergs that float by Saint John's in the spring. That was something to see! And stay at the Fairmont Newfoundland Hotel -- a really nice hotel where you can actually enjoy good food and friendly staff who will provide you with a real level of service.

My time at CTRA reminded me a great deal of the early years of ATRA -- in the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. Everyone at CTRA was extremely happy to be there, to see one another, and to work together to make sure our profession flurishes in Canada. It was just great to be a part of such a positive atmosphere!

I did an all-day preconference workshop. The 100 workshop participants in attendance were interested and engaged. They inspired me to "be on top of my game" -- which I hope I was. I must admit that I was nervous about giving the Keynote Address during the Opening General Session. But, again, the audience of 200 delegates was very responsive and receptive. I felt great just being with this fine group of professionals.

There were others from the USA who attended and presented. It was great to see old friends like Bob Riley, Gene Hayes, and Jeff Witman. And I got to briefly talk with Gonzaga da Gama, from California, whom I had only previously spoken with over the phone.

It was also a treat to see my old friend Jerry Singleton. I've known Jerry for years and years. If you don't know him, you are missing out on a great deal of fun. He has a sense of humor that you won't soon forget.

While Jerry is from Halifax, rather than Newfoundland, his sense of humor is shared by all Newfoundlanders that I met at CTRA. These fun loving folks made me an "Honorary Newfoundlander" following an elaborate ceremony in which those of us from outside of Newfoundland were "screeched." It isn't something I will soon forget!

I would enjoy telling you more about my experiences at CTRA but had better stop at this point. Perhaps in another post I can tell you a bit about our trip to Halifax following the CTRA Conference. I will close by again recommending you plan a trip to Saint John's and Newfoundland. It has been my peasure to visit any number of cities and countries around the world and I can assure you that Newfoundland is a special place.


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