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i never imagined saskatchewan was actually this flat…

…and to be clear (in case you don’t get the reference), I mean it in a geological sense. On the bus ride from Edmonton to Saskatoon yesterday, I could literally see for kilometers. As a kid who grew up in a small-town on the edge of a farmer’s field, I never thought the openness of vast fields would actually startle me, but it did, and I feel like I’ve grown as a person because of it.

I am happy to report a successful first day at the 71st Annual Canadian University Press Conference!

After arriving by Greyhound in Saskatoon last night, I grabbed $6.80 taxi ride from the bus depot to the Sheraton Cavalier. Within my first minute of the 4 minute cab ride, the driver (who promptly informed me that he had recently moved to the Prairies from Montreal) warned me not to venture across the river to the west side of Saskatoon (which according to him, was ‘sketchy’). Interesting.

I arrived at the hotel. Checked in. Found myself in a extremely comfortable hotel suite which included a bar, giant screened television, and massive king sized bed. Luxury.

This morning, I threw away the cab driver’s advice and dared to venture to the ‘sketchy‘ west side of Saskatoon (which actually seemed fairly nice) to the University of Saskatchewan and met Ward 4 City Council candidate Sean Shaw for coffee at the local Tim Horton’s. We had a great chat and I would recommend you check out his website, as he seems to have some pretty good ideas for positive change in Saskatoon.

I returned to the conference in the afternoon and delivered my session on politics, blogging, and web 2.0 to conference delegates. The session went well, and though I didn’t get the chance to record it, I may try to re-do it in podcast form for folks who are interested (thanks for the emails, facebook messages, comments, and tweets).

The conference is going well, and I was happy to join the crew from the Gateway at the conference dinner tonight, which featured Wiretap host and former This American Life contributor Jonathan Goldstein. As a huge Wiretap and long-time TAL fan, it was pretty amazing to see Goldstein speak in person. Win.

Tomorrow: Bloggers Panel with Joey Coleman and Rebekah Bennetch.

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