{(set: $days to 0) (set: $san to 25) (set: $colleague_san to 0) (set: $focus to 0) (set: $soft to 0) (set: $hard to 0) (set: $vapor to 0) (set: $bio to 0) (set: $etc to 0) (display: "Beginning Entryway.")}Familiar surroundings. Always nice to get one's bearings in familiar surroundings. The old couch can still work its magic. good rest and all will be as good as new. (if: $san < 1)[More tired than you thought. The dialoguing, the monologuing, the discourse is always treacherous. The sun is just coming up, the early morning work sessions start soon enough. But you won't be missed this once.... [[GO HOME->quit]] ](else:)[(set: $san to $san + (random: 3,12))(set: $days to $days + 1) (if: $san > 25)[(set: $san to 25)] You have $san sanity and $focus focus and have been at the conference for $days days. [[Jump back into the fray?->Basic Lobby.]] [[Rest for another night->Office.]] ]A colleague appears! (set: $colleague_san to 15) [[discourse]] [[disengage->Main Hall.]] You enter what you used to call the computer lab, sit down at a terminal and enter the proper passwords, keys and biometrics to ensure secure access. Because of advances in educational theory, perception and user experience an understanding can be virtualized inside the brain pan for many fields. By participating you will work to increase your expertise in one of the following fields: software, hardware, vaporware, bioware or etcware. This will take some time, often days to see increases in your skill level, but it is happening nonetheless. {(if: $focus > 2)[(set: $field to (random: 0, 4))(set: $remove to (either: 2, 3)) (set: $focus to $focus - $remove)(set: $gain to (random: 0, 2)) (if: $field is 0)[(set: $soft to $soft + $gain) (if: $soft > 10)[You are a software wizard!!] (else:)[You increased your software expertise!]] (if: $field is 1)[(set: $hard to $hard + $gain) (if: $hard > 10)[You are a hardware wizard!!] (else:)[You increased your hardware expertise!]] (if: $field is 2)[(set: $vapor to $vapor + $gain) (if: $vapor > 10)[You are a vaporware wizard!!] (else:)[You increased your vaporware expertise!]] (if: $field is 3)[(set: $bio to $bio + $gain) (if: $bio > 10)[You are a bioware wizard!!] (else:)[You increased your bioware expertise!]] (if: $field is 4)[(set: $etc to $etc + $gain) (if: $etc > 10)[You are a etcware wizard!!] (else:)[You increased your etcware expertise!]] (set: $time_spent to $field - $remove + $gain) (if: $time_spent < 1)[(set: $time_spent to 1)] (set: $days to $days + $time_spent) Your study pays off! You may not have become a wizard yet, but you will if you keep studying. Feel free to [[study->eSchool]] if you are still focussed. Otherwise, return to [[the lobby->Basic Lobby.]] to participate at the conference, chat or rest. ](else:)[You aren't focussed enough to study. Please return to [[the lobby->Basic Lobby.]] to participate at the conference, chat or rest.]}(if: (either: 0, 1) is 0)[Your colleague confuses **you**! (set: $san = $san - (either: 1,2,3)) (if: $san < 1)[**YOU** are [[dazed]]!](else:)[ Your sanity is around $san. [[discourse]] [[disengage|Main Hall.]] ] ](else:)[You confuse **your colleague**! (set: $colleague_san = $colleague_san - (either: 1,2)) (if: $colleague_san < 1)[Your [[colleague is dazed]]! ](else:)[ Your colleague's sanity is around $colleague_san. [[discourse]] [[disengage|Main Hall.]] ] ]You are incapacitated. Your colleagues pick you up and take you out of the hall. Your vague memories of being taken back to your office are intersperse with vague fears about awakening tomorrow, leaving the conference and returning back to your typical state institute of higher education. Not necessarily in shame, but pumpkin'd out nonetheless. You come to in your [[office.->Office.]]Your colleague falls to the ground, glassy-eyed, drooling. That happens. The winnowing continues. It is the end of the night, perhaps the end of the conference for your fallen partner. { (set: $focus to $focus + (random: 2,5)) } As near-by colleagues lift and carry your partner away, you feel emboldened, gaining insights through discourse brings you to $focus focus and $san sanity. If you are still up for it go ahead and [[reengage.->Main Hall.]] If you aren't up to it just yet perhaps a good nap in [[the office->Office.]] will give you the necessary recharge, or you can just [[leave the main hall.->Basic Lobby.]]You head home and open the door to the smell of bacon and eggs wafting from the kitchen. Perhaps A nice cup of coffee, breakfast and a day of nothing is exactly what you need. You lasted $days days at the conference. And while you didn't get everything, you did it on your own terms, you still managed to gain some current expertise. Their necessities, your responsibilities. {(if: $soft is 10)[You are a software wizard!!] (if: $hard is 10)[You are a hardware wizard!!] (if: $vapor is 10)[You are a vaporware wizard!!] (if: $bio is 10)[You are a bioware wizard!!] (if: $etc is 10)[You are a etcware wizard!!]} [[restart?->init]]When you are confronted with seeing yourself as an object you are in "bad faith." Should this sadden you? What if the very thought gave you joy instead? Sadness effervesces into joy. In a professional setting you are no different than you are at home. It is the costume that changes, the character you have to play has a discrete set of lines, vocabularies, mannerisms specific to each context. Imagine playing your part. Perfectly. Look now, alive. You get to nail your lines if you stay in the moment. And that becomes a brittle kind of joy once you stare out at your colleagues in the lobby, too many to count, continuously moving. If you feel impulsive, reach out and [[talk to someone in the lobby.]] If not, then take some time to look around the [[lobby->Basic Lobby.]] before you decide what to do.Placing a mild yet confident smile on your face, you step forward and engage the first person that passes you. - Hello. How's the mixer? A slight gentleman turns a wry look your way, pauses as if sifting through a pleasant index of recipes for a tasty snack, responds. - About what you would expect. Professionals from different fields talking at cross purposes about values or ethics. Or something. Maybe I'm being too pragmatic about these things. [[- It's a bit much.]] [[- Sorry to have bothered you.]]You are dying inside, but it is easy enough to exude a calm expectant demeanor in this stately lobby. To one side, October, an administrative specialist in your department, is trading tickets for garments to a short line of your colleagues at [[the coat check.->Coat Check.]] The entryway is across from the open oak double doors of the main hall. Your colleagues mill around the lobby engaging in greetings and small talk. You have $san sanity and $focus focus and have been at the conference for $days days. Perhaps you should improve your focus in [[eSchool]] or head back to your [[office->Office.]] for rest and recharge? If you are ready to join the conference then [[continue to the main hall.->Main Hall.]] Otherwise, you can [[talk to someone nearby.|talk to someone in the lobby.]]That was unsuspected, a biting comment when you expected pleasantries if not banalities. Usually you appreciate skepticism, but you aren't sure this is the time. But one has to start somewhere when getting ready for comes next. - Perhaps you are pragmatic so much as cynical. We have to have a way of gauging ourselves without the interference of public opinion. There are necessities, standards to be adhered to, a responsibility to vigour-- - Vigour. Staying power, you mean? The competition is fierce for what reason? - Well, we've moved to a new modality. - A new enemy is more like it. These days we seem to believe that convenience is the enemy of sin and progress is what keeps one busy enough to stay free of the devil. Do you ever wonder what they think the process is? Do you think that I should care if they don't want to be helped? I've given up ever getting 100 percent... - Hey. No need to get upset about it. I think we can agree that the competition has no sympathy for the unprepared. Some are lost before they are ready. - Yes. Before they are ready...See you inside later? And then, before you can answer, your colleague walks through the oak double doors into the [[conference->Conference.]]; join if you are ready. Or take a look around the [[lobby.->Basic Lobby.]] You can almost place his face. From one of the affiliated departments, but not your own if you aren't mistaken. It **is** too early to get into the meta conversation. Perhaps after a few drinks and once the crowd thins. Pumpkin time may come before that for you anyway. Best not to think of such things. Best not to talk to that colleague (whose name you can't remember anyway) at all. You quickly scan the room and decide that your best options are to either [[head to the coat check.->Coat Check.]] or [[head to the main hall->Main Hall.]] as fast as possible.You step up to the table just as October, an administrative specialist in your department, is finishing up with the last people in line, a short, generic sort of elderly couple who had begun looking like each other a decade or two before. - Hi, October, how's the conference shaping up? - So far so good. All the action is in the main hall, however. Lots of chit-chat out here. Keeping things light, you know? - Yes, I do know. It wouldn't do any good to get too serious out here. Best to save one's strength for conversations in the main hall. - Do you have anything to check? You don't have anything to check, and no one else is in line, so you can [[gossip with October]] or say your goodbyes and join the crowd in [[the lobby.->Basic Lobby.]]As you pass through the stately oak double doors, the constant motion of your colleagues increases. Darting clownfish above the bricolage of institutional practices. Ugh. You nearly hesitate, staunching a quick glance back over your shoulder before the mannerism becomes a liability. Instead you settle back into calm expectation and slow your walk. Luckily, you have missed the speakers. Better, your colleagues have been mingling for a while, but not long enough for the groups to have solidified. Still time to explore before pumpkin time. Just remember, you've been at the conference for $days days. You have $focus focus and your sanity is $san. Head back through the [[doors->Basic Lobby.]] if you would you like to take a break from the intensity. If ready, jump into the fray at the [[Conference.]] taking place in the hall. - No, nothing to check. Just thought I'd talk to you while I get the lay of the land. - Ha ha! Well, the conference is in full swing, but the night hasn't turned ugly yet. Only a few people have pumpkin'd. But the discourse is high level, higher than normal at these kinds of things, so watch yourself. - I will. How are things in our department? - The new candidates are hungry for experience. Everyone should watch themselves this conference. It is too easy to get pumpkin'd. October drops a few more tidbits, most of it the same type of idle speculation you hear this time of year. After a few more comfortable minutes you realize it is time to get serious, so you say your goodbyes and join the crowd in [[the lobby.->Basic Lobby.]]Double-click this passage to edit it.