After I returned to work from maternity leave less than a year ago, I took on a new role as the I.H.T.'s education editor.
I've had a new beat to follow, a new range of responsibilities, a new roster of writers to handle - and a whole new set of things to do, which go beyond the writing and editing that have made up my career so far.
Tomorrow, I'll fly to Singapore to speak at the I.H.T.'s first education conference. (If I had any sense, I'd get off my computer and go to bed, as I have to be up at 6 a.m. to catch my flight there.)
This will be the first of four events in four cities, in what will probably be one exhilarating, exhausting week for me and the people I'm working with.
After a scant 24 hours in the Lion City, we'll fly to Taipei for a conference at the Shangri-La on Oct. 16.
The next day, I'm back home in Hong Kong doing a conference on Oct. 17 at the Harbour Grand in North Point. (Incidentally, the sister hotel of the one my husband works at).
I get to rest for two nights back home (Ha. Rest. I'll be in the office editing) before heading to Shanghai to do our final conference on Oct. 20 at the Hyatt on the Bund. (Again, incidentally, where my parents and I stayed during the World Expo in 2010).
The main attraction will be my New York Times colleague Jacques Steinberg, who's an expert in U.S. college admissions. We, and various guest speakers, will be giving advice to Asian high school kids looking to study overseas.
All the talks are free and open to the public, though attendees have to register in advance. If you know has teens (or parents) who'd be interested, the link with info is here. You can also go to that page to watch the live stream on the afternoon of Oct. 17. (I'm not a TV / broadcast person by training, so be kind!)
I don't mind public speaking, learning new skills or an increased workload. But this is untested ground for me.
And, while I'm happy to blog, Tweet and otherwise communicate my thoughts, self-promotion is kinda weird. While my business colleagues often schmooze with advertisers and sponsors, and are used to selling themselves, I definitely am not. I was even embarrassed when I had my photo and bio put onto the flyers that went out with the paper.
Really off the bed now. Wish me luck.