The APA convention is more than just a venue for presenting the most up-to-date psychological science. It’s also about building and sustaining a community of psychologists. This was certainly true Thursday evening in Toronto when the hometown Blue Jays took on the Minnesota Twins. The atmosphere was electric and APA members were out in full force for the nighttime baseball outing APA organized. Throughout the game you could hear talk of sessions attended, schedules for the following day, and, honestly, about how great their seats were — they were right — well done, APA.
I had the good fortune to sit next to an APA veteran and she was nice enough to indulge me and answer some questions for this blog. Here she is:
Cathleen Rea, PhD, a child psychologist in private practice in Virginia, has been coming the APA meetings regularly since 1984. She recalled with nostalgia that her first convention was here in Toronto. At that time, she drove to Toronto from her graduate program in Virginia and presented her dissertation work as a poster. From then on she was hooked. When I asked what made the APA convention so special to her, she said it was the “friends [she’s] made over the years” and the knowledge she gains each time she attends. Rea noted that she teaches family medicine residents each year and every time she returns home from an APA convention, she has another impressive statistic for them.
I asked her about her favorite APA memory. This was a hard one. After some thought, she said it was seeing a presentation by B.F. Skinner, sometime in the mid to late 1980s. That sounds right to me. One of the things that seems to make APA such an amazing organization is that it has played such an important role in the many frontiers of psychology.
Last night was a wonderful community-building event. Throughout the game other APA members chimed in about what made APA special to them. I heard things like, “There’s something for everybody,” and, “It’s a great chance to reconnect with old friends from graduate school and former professors.” The Blue Jays went on to win 9-3. It was a fun-filled, action-packed game that brought APA members, young and old, together.
One additional baseball note: Kevin Pillar, the Toronto Blue Jays center fielder, made what I believe to be the most amazing catch I have ever seen in person. It’s definitely worth a look here.