Boston Comic Con 2017: My Trip Through the Convention

Boston Comic Con 2017: My Trip Through the Convention

The recent Boston Comic Con was held in the city, and the weekend was packed with nerd culture - as usual.

As per the annual tradion, I recently attended Boston Comic Con – well, FanExpo Boston as of the convention. I've been going every year for three years now, and when they started announcing guests, there was no question that we would be there again. Cosplay costumes were made and put together, collections cataloged, and suitcases packed. This year, however, was a different feeling, and not just because of the new ownership and the new venue. It was much more noticeable that there was such a wide range of people at the event, all coming together for a weekend celebrating geek culture. My experience is my own, someone else may have a different one. And that's the beauty of a comic con.

The con truly began on Friday, though we did arrive on Thursday and visited the Lego Store and ThinkGeek in Peabody before returning to rest up for the next morning. After getting our wristbands and waiting in a ticketing room until the con opened at two o'clock in the afternoon, we entered the con floor. This was very different from past years, where we would line up outside then enter the room at the Seaport. The convention was held in the actual Boston Convention Center and Expo building, and the floor showed the upgrade – a larger and more open dealer room, artist alley to the side of the room, and the celebrity autograph area to the back and opened up for people to move through. Groups such as the New Hampshire Ghostbusters, the 501st Legion, and the Rebel Legion were there offering photos and donations to select charities. My goal for Friday was to get the majority of the autographs I wanted to get, as to free up time on the next two days. Bouncing line to line, I met Barry Bostwick, Nell Campbell, and Patricia Quinn all of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame; Charles Martinet, the voice actor behind Mario; and Anthony Daniels, who portrayed C-3PO in every Star Wars movie. All five were very nice and a delight to talk to, and liked telling stories about their projects with the hordes of fans. Once the autographs were obtained, I continued to walk the floor and made a few small purchases. It wasn't too crowded, which is once again par for the course.

Saturday was an early start, with the doors opening at ten. And considering it was a Saturday at the convention, the crowds were difficult to manage. It was a typical day though – we looked around at the comics (one dealer had an Amazing Fantasy #15 – and no, I did not buy it), checked out the art, and added more items to the collections. However, we did begin to see some organizational problems – specifically the placement of the makeshift “Main Theater,” which was high curtains set up in the back corner of the room. This caused the entire con floor to be able to hear whatever event was going on there, like around noon when a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show was held. Parents covered children's ears, and people just sat near the curtain to listen in on the room. As the day went on, we constantly checked the line to meet Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who) and finally when the line wasn't too long, we jumped in and waited. The sign said he would arrive by 3:15, but he didn't get there until about IV:15. Once he got there, the line moved quickly and we were able to meet the actor who's Doctor got me into the series way back when. Originally, I was planning on meeting Daredevil star Charlie Cox, but after Matt Smith, his line was too long and it was already IV:30 – we were planning on leaving around 5:30. And so, we continued about our way, walking around, buying things and taking it all in. The “Stan Lee Zone” where they had Lee himself and merchandise was a packed area, the Main Theater events continued to be audible to anybody passing by. As we left, there was still people pouring in, for an evening at the con.

On Sunday, it was a smaller crowd and a day of mostly purchases. When I did get in, I went back to check the Alan Tudyk line, and as it wasn't too long, I once again joined the line of fans waiting for an autograph – but it wasn't too long a wait. After that, it was once again back to the main floor to buy things, check out art, get information on upcoming events, and admire the cosplay of all types, from high-end to simple. Slowly throughout the day, the amount of people decreased, the dealers started dropping prices and offering discounts, others were packing up. I ended up having to use two bags, just to help with the weight of things (I may or may not be a comic addict). We officially left the convention not long before they closed up, and headed back to the hotel to get some rest. Of course, we made another stop at ThinkGeek and the Lego Store on our way home, and returned Monday afternoon.

Of course, this was just my experience. One thing I noticed more this year than in the past was the diverse attendees. People from all walks of life gathered together because they all like something nerdy. People spoke their native languages – and some did speak Klingon back and forth, cosplay was worn by children, adults, and everybody in between. I saw more cosplay of Ms. Marvel on just Saturday than I had ever seen in my past three years of going to these events. There really is something for everybody at a comic convention – even if you don't like comics themselves. Up and coming artists, writers, craftsmen, nostalgia, and even clothing dealers fill up the room, of all backgrounds and stories. The event can be a different experience for each person, and everybody there has an instant conversation starter - “How are you liking the con?” For now, we just wait until the announcements are made for next year – then, we repeat the process of getting tickets, getting hyped, getting ready, and going to the convention center.

Cover Image Credit: Jack R. Herard

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The Negative Effects Of Working As A CNA

You know you are a CNA if you are undermined, understaffed, and emotionally and physically drained.

I write this not as a way to deter people from wanting to be a CNA or to demean the job, but in order to outline the negatives, since some only outline the positives. With a job comes responsibility, and it is like that in any area or field. We have the good and we also have the bad. I am in a field where not many people like their job and they don't care who knows it. Others enjoy it and make the best of it. It is like that with any career. There are always both sides.

I write this after coming home from a meeting that we have to attend every week for 13 weeks straight. These meetings are preparing us for a new unit in our building, and they offer education so that we have the knowledge to communicate and take care of our residents. I like these meetings because I enjoy learning more in my field, however, others see it as a burden and a waste of their time. There are people who will bring in workplace drama, those that will do the bare minimum, and those that just don't care and will call in when they know their shift is short.

As a Certified Nurse Assistant, you help your residents, and you try to give them the best care that you can provide. That is the number one rule. If anything, that is the golden rule in nursing. When you step in on that floor, you are expected to give your full effort in giving the residents the care they need. Meanwhile, others step in and couldn't give a damn.

What upset me the most after the meeting was that we had to talk about abuse. We had to discuss what abuse was and why we need to treat our patients with dignity, respect, and kindness. As a CNA that is my work. I was saddened that something like this occurred, and that someone would demean a resident in a way that no one should be treated.

I'm furious, upset, and confused. The people that work in this field are there because they care, and they want to help those that cannot help themselves. So, why would they do such a thing?

It made me think of all the other negatives that I encounter in my field. The lack of appreciation from other staff and the constant undermining is tough. Nurses telling you that you are not doing your job right, or management becoming picky when you cannot chart between your residents is difficult. There is always something that you are doing wrong in someone else's eyes, and there is never a thank you when you leave your shift and everyone is clean and taken care of. There is no one to pat your back other than yourself, and you have to be your own cheerleader for a place that only looks at you as the lowest of the totem pole.

There are never enough of you. I say that because there is always a demand for CNAs, and no matter how many you have in a facility, there will never be enough. You will be short one shift or another, and you will have to scramble to reach everyone to make sure they are taken care of properly.

You come home and you have to go right back to bed because you took extra shifts. You are exhausted, and yet you still come in and put all your energy into work because you think of the residents. You consider what it would be like to not have anyone to care for you. You put them before yourself.

No one tells you any negatives as you are getting trained and go through clinicals. They only tell you that you are going into a profession that will help those that cannot help themselves, and that you should be proud of your job. It is not incorrect, but it is not fully true.

You will get called names, cursed at, abused, and you will get over-worked. No one will tell you thank you, and no one will baby you through your shift. You are a CNA. You take care of those that cannot take care of themselves. You are there to help and give care. Yes, there are negatives and you will want to quit like I've wanted to do multiple times. I will admit it. You will get upset and frustrated. This is not an easy job, and it was not intended to be, but you will get through it if you keep your heart open and honest. Do your work diligently, and do what you can to make others' lives better. That is the only reward you need to overcome the negatives.

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