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AAPT meeting

Greetings -

Are there PHYS-L subscribers who have been to AAPT meetings in the past
and can make suggestions to one who has never attended this event?

I plan to go to the meeting for the first time this summer. I am making
the trip to Rochester in order to attend several workshops being taught in
the weekend before the meeting gets into full swing. I'd like to make
travel plans now so I can get a cheaper ticket, but try as I might I can't
squeeze a lot of meaning out of the Announcer or the AAPT web site. It's
hard to tell how interesting the sessions are likely to be, or how much
this is just a schmooze-fest. If I plan to skip town on Monday am I
likely to be kicking myself over something I'll miss in the coming week?
Are there particular must-see elements to this event?

AAPT has a 'first-timers' program and says they will give guidance to
novices, but I suspect that the guidance will come from people who are
already pretty rah-rah about big professional meetings. Ordinarily I have
pretty low expectations for conferences. I'm making this trip to get
practical, technical advice relating to two curricular projects I have
already in the works. I like to meet colleagues, but I like it better
when they are local. It's rare that I go to big teachers' meeting and
rarer still that I come away inspired, but it _has_ happened....

David Strasburger
Physics Teacher/Science Department Technology Coordinator
Noble & Greenough School