Saturday, December 05, 2009

Weekend Meeting on the First Coast Kicks off Three Florida Excursions

JACKSONVILLE-- Before this weekend, I hadn't done much in Jacksonville except come through this city on the East Coast, either by air or by car. Thanks to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Winter Meeting, I'm spending three days here in Downtown Jacksonville.

Most of our day was spent planning the upcoming AEJMC Annual Convention, which will take place in August 2010 in Denver. But, like many other professional meetings, it's a chance to catch up with colleagues in journalism and mass communication at other institutions.

To make things even more interesting, I am in the Florida Gators' backyard on the day of the big Florida-Alabama matchup for the Southeastern Conference Championship.

Heidi Edwards, a diehard Florida Gator and a graduate of the school dared pose for a photo with me as I celebrate the 12-0 Crimson Tide this morning.

The view of downtown JAX from my hotel room wasn't that bad either.

It was raining here yesterday when I arrived. But, things have cleared out nicely this afternoon and it's pretty Saturday afternoon in this place known as the city "Where Florida begins."

It's interesting to note this is the first of three trips to the Sunshine State I'll be making over the next four months. I'll be driving down to Tampa-St. Petersburg area with a day stop on the UF campus in Gainesville next month. We'll be holding a two-day meeting at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg.

Then in March, the Society of Professional Journalists Regional gathering will be on the University of Central Florida campus in Orlando.

I definitely could get used to the Sunshine State.