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Jenny Baker
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Editor’s Column: Virtually Yours

./Steven Toaddy

It’s always interesting to think about and to commit to the page an observation or statement of opinion within the context of an organization that is assembled of those in a position to scientifically test the legitimacy of that observation or statement. I wonder whether you feel the same hesitancy that I do, for better or for worse.

My experience as a member of SIOP has, I think, changed a good deal over the past 23 months or so. Much has changed over the past 14 months—sure—but an in-person annual conference experience has traditionally been the booster shot (too soon?) that tops up my vigor for and engagement in this community; to be unexpectedly kept from that treatment last year means that I didn’t have the usual opportunity to wind the clock, fill the tank, remind myself of the people I know and love in this field. I am, in light of that, especially grateful for the opportunity to interact with those who contribute to TIP in both email and in the form of their submissions!

I do have a different plan for the conference for this year, though. My failure to make best use of the virtual annual conference last year was largely my own fault, I think; sure, I can blame the uncertainty and the scramble that we were all experiencing, but in the end it was my failure to dedicate time to the event that led to my not fully capitalizing on the available resources. This year, I’ve asked my employer for time off to concertedly attend the main sequence of the conference; the development and professional engagement that I’ll experience at the conference this year is as relevant to my job as SIOP ever was, and I’m grateful for the support that my organization is providing (I just had to ask!) to see me take advantage of that fact. I encourage you to do likewise and to join me in treating the virtual conference just as seriously as previous meetings.

Speaking of staying connected—it’s my opinion that the material available in the pages of this edition of TIP will help you see that other members are not only staying engaged but thriving in this odd time, and that material will help you keep up on essential recent developments, tips for your own survival and thriving, and ways to think about the past, present, and future of our Society, our society, and our discipline. Take a look!

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