This was my third year at PAX East, but it was the first time I’d been able to stay for all three days. The first year I had a three day pass, but commuted and was exhausted by Sunday. Last year we only had Friday and Saturday passes, and Sunday was Easter anyway. This year we had a nearby hotel and three day passes and believe me, we took full advantage of it!
MLHawke’s husband drove down to meet us, and brought along Bard’s sister. I didn’t do a cosplay, but after two full days in costume it felt nice to wear jeans and a t-shirt (and my snazzy new N7 jacket) and just my normal hair and makeup!
Bard and I met up with his sister; MLHawke was in line for the Elder Scrolls Online demo, but from the point she was at, it was a 3 hour wait. She wound up getting out of line, and she and her husband went to wait for the Education Gamification panel (since he’s a teacher, and her job involves a lot of classroom/curriculum work). I wandered around with Bard and his sister for a bit, then joined MLHawke for the panel. I’d gone to the games and education panel on Friday, and this one was also awesome. It gave me some incredible ideas and links for resources. I left inspired to roll out an experimental learning model to my classes. More on that later though.
Sunday’s panels were a little sparse for me; I didn’t really have much I wanted to do. Bard and I knew we wanted to paint miniatures again, so we put our names on the 2-hour waitlist, then headed to a panel done by OC Remix. He and his sister are really into them, so it was nice to see them really enjoy the panel. I found it interesting for certain; I love when things are mixed up and done in different genres and such. We got back and did our mini painting. Bard, myself, and his sister all painted minis of our current D&D characters. My bard, Indiana Jenn, is a human and an archer who occasionally pulls out a rapier, so I picked the archer figurine (even though it looked a touch elven). Bard’s a fighter and his sister is a sorceress. MLHawke, her husband, and one of our friends came over, but the wait was another two hours and by then it was nearly four o’clock.
Most of the last couple hours was spent in classic console, chilling with our friend Ted and charging my phone. The day wasn’t quite over, but I was already starting to feel withdrawal symptoms. I kept trying to think about my new ideas to roll out at school the next day, rather than the drive home, or the amount of laundry I was going to have to do. The last day was relaxing, but at the same time it was a slight downer because there was none of the crazy excitement of the first two days. No, that won’t be my incentive to make three separate cosplays for next year, however. I think it was the knowing it was ending; we’d had two days full days of complete awesomeness. This day was also awesome, but there was the knowledge that we would have to be leaving.
However, when we did go to leave, we found that though we were done with PAX, it wasn’t done with us! My car battery was dead! We ended up being delayed about 45 minutes while we waited for AAA and let my engine run and recharge the battery. By the time we finally got back home it was about 9 and we were exhausted. Neither of us (nor our companions for the weekend) took Monday off, so collapsing into bed was met with the knowledge that the alarm was going off in mere hours, marking our return to the real world.
Of course, the return to the “real world” means the onset of post-PAX withdrawal. Withdrawal is pretty common after any con, from what I’ve heard (and felt after things like PAX and ICON). You go nearly nonstop for a whole weekend, set apart in a world of people who mostly think like you and have the same interests as you. You see amazing things and make new friends. You learn new information. You want to burst with excitement from it all… and then it’s back to jobs and classes and people who don’t always feel the same way about these things. Oh, and the con-cold. I’ve kind of been fighting something off since the Sunday of PAX, but thanks to vitamin C, rest, and fluids, it’s not really turning into much. Still, it’s a reminder that I had such an awesome weekend my body wants to punish me. Hehe.
While Day 3 was a lot more relaxed and low-key, and there was much more sitting around, it was still a good day. I got that one last day to wander aimlessly and see the show floor and experience it with Bard’s sister at her first ever PAX. She really had a good time, which is awesome. Our PAX contingent is growing! And the nice thing is I left not only with some great merchandise and awesome swag, but also with knowledge of a new model for my classroom.
The event may have ended on Sunday, but the lessons from this year’s PAX East will carry through for far longer. Now it’s onto thinking about next year’s PAX East. And of course, the costumes!