Monday, February 26, 2007

Reflections from one of my recent conferences

* There are a lot of smart people out there working on really cool stuff.

* All hotel rooms that are equipped with double beds should also come with double bathrooms. I'd never encountered such rooms before, but I hope they catch on. Brilliant for room-shares.

* One can recover from dropping a full plate of hors d'oeuvres to the floor in front of one's friend's senior colleagues, but only if said colleagues are really gracious.

* It's nice to be the person who comes up with questions for the otherwise-ignored grad student(s) on a given panel. It feels like repaying a debt.

* Any time a conference dinner outing involves a) 12 people, 8 of whom one did not previously know; b) squeezing the aforesaid 12 people into a limousine with groovy colored lights in the ceiling (when no cabs were to be found); c) excellent food; and d) lots of booze. . . well, it's going to be a good time.

* Sometimes friends-of-friends are as cool as the friends themselves.

* One of those friends-of-friends described aggressively bad papers--the kind that make you want to impale the presenter with a roller-ball pen before leading the rest of the room's hostages to freedom--as "conference terrorism." I'm so stealing that term.

* Recent evidence suggests that I may have become That Girl (by which I do not mean Marlo Thomas). I'm not sure whether this is a positive development.


medieval woman said...

Sounds like a good time! What does "That Girl" mean? Not that you engage in conference terrorism??? :)

heather said...

Yes, if you would be so kind, please share, won't you? I, along with Medieval Woman, are quite curious . . .

Flavia said...

I mean That Girl in somewhat the same way that one means That Guy. As in, "You know That Guy? Don't be That Guy."

I'm not totally comfortable explaining the specifics here, but let's just say that it involves nothing illegal, immoral, scandalous, or even obnoxious--I just think that if I weren't me, I'd roll my eyes at the person who appeared to be the person I was being.

(Yeah. You can tell I'm a teacher by how well I clear up every last trace of confusion, right?)

RageyOne said...

"Conference terrorism." I'm with you on stealing that term. I've been to some sessions where that needs to take place!

Flavia said...

Oh, yes--I realized belatedly that the term might be misconstrued. The terrorism involved is that of delivering an aggressively bad paper and holding the room hostage.

Stabbing the deliverer with a pen? That's merely a justified, responsive use of force.

Anonymous said...

Flavia, if you are indeed That Girl, we must then refer to Simplicius as That Guy.

Flavia said...

Anon: must we?