Now that the contract is signed and the check mailed, we can say that Professor Elemental will be our Visiting Professor of the Performance Arts.

I can't wait to tell you the rest of our line-up!

And I will, as they get and approve their contracts.

Think of OctopodiCon as the steampunk Hogwarts of the southern midwest. We have hands-on make-and-take workshops coming into focus, and lectures and demonstrations as well as discussion panels.

There's an anime track, and two different children's tracks - one for the children between 6 and 11 (called the Junior Sprockets) and one for children 11 - 15 (called the Artifact Club). The Junior Sprockets and the Artificers can earn a pin, will receive a certificate of participation, and learn to make a few things they get to keep.

For the adults, there is the Art Gallery, where they can browse the gorgeous works of gifted artists and buy or bid on them.

There's the Mercantile, where they can browse the wares of merchants and the tables of our featured visiting professors.

In the Scriptorium they can purchase the books of the attending authors, meet those self-same authors, and get autographs. Then, just across the hall, they get to listen to their favorite authors give readings of their works.

In the Laboratorium, there will be deomstrations and displays of some truly awesome steampunk artifacts and the make-n-take classes that count towards earning a Freshman Pin. Attendees who want to earn a novelty Bachelor's of Steampunk degree will need to take 4 make-n-take classes and 4 lecture/demo classes - they don't have to take them all at this particular OctopodiCon, but we will keep track of their transcripts so when they've taken enough classes, they will receive their Freshman Pin and a Rising Sophomore Certificate that will allow them to enroll in more advanced classes. There is a supply fee associated with these classes and enrollment is limited to make sure each student receives the time and attention they need to complete the 2 hour class. We will be offering at least 9 make-n-take classes over the course of the weekend so students will have plenty of choices.

Next to the Laboratorium are Lecture Rooms One and Two, where they can take the lectures and demos that are the other half of the requirements for a Freshman Pin. These classes are part of the one or 3 day enrollment fee, no extra supply fees are involved.

Next to them is Panel Room One, where discussion panels ranging the gamut of Steampunk take place. These are fun, sometime free-ranging, discussions of steampunk. Consider them the no credit classes, if you want!

For those who don't even want to think of classes at all, there's the Concert Hall, where stage performers and entertainment of all sorts will take place along with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Art and Charity Auctions, the Masquerade, and the Gears and Gizmos Dance.

The Great Hall which connects all these classrooms is the Promenade, a vast social area where the Airships and Steampunk Leagues and clubs and groups will have small recruiting tables (they will have to supply their own small - under 3'x3' - tables or displays - no sales). Registration will also be in this Hall.

Since the Hall is a strictly No Food Zone, the Promenade extends outside the Hall and into a nearby lobby where food is allowed, and we've arranged for a Tea Parlour (similar to the Maid Cafes of Anime conventions) to be there, with plenty of seating where students and attendees, merchants and Visiting Professors and everyone else involved in OctopodiCon can gather to buy tea or coffee (or get free hot water to brew their own) as well as cookies, finger sandwiches, and possibly small cakes for nominal sums. Sadly, while we anticipate having enough teapots, tea kettles, and coffee pots, we don't have enough lovely tea cups to provide everyone with them, but everyone is encouraged to bring their own tea cups! Otherwise, it's disposable hot cups.

We will have backdrops where you can take pictures and have your pictures taken. The Promenade is THE place to See and Be Seen - when you aren't in class or shopping or attending one of our lovely concerts.

Pre-registration until October 1, 2011 is a mere $20 for a 3 day enrollment! Go to our website to learn more about our pre-registration packets.

The Course Catalog of make-n-take classes, lectures, and demonstrations is coming soon, and you may enroll now and come back later to add any make-n-take classes. We'll accept enrollments in the make-n-take classes until July 25th, 2012. Remember, enrollment in those classes is limited, so check often and enroll as soon as possible!

In the coming weeks, we'll be adding more Visiting Professors, and adding our Course Catalog.

We have so many treats in store for you! A working steam tractor (or thrasher) is just one marvel that will be there, and the Museum of Osteology will have a table, and we're negotiating for some other truly awesome Visiting Professors and devices. We're working with some local tribes to provide classes and panels and more about Victorian Era Native Americans, and with the Cowboy Hall of Fame for western heritage panels.

If you love steampunk or are interested in steampunk, or just curious about what the fuss is all about, come! It will be awesome!
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