Wednesday, April 06, 2011

SAA: Day Zero

In January I mentioned some of the ways that my conference-going (or at least my MLA-going) experiences have changed over the years, but never have I had the particular experience that I'll be having this time around at SAA.

For reasons that remain obscure to me, SAA is being held in my own personal hometown. Not the city that I tell people back east I'm from, but the actual place I'm from--a sizable city in its own right, and not without its quirks or charms, but whose downtown is dominated by upscale malls and Lexus and BMW dealerships. It's totally not cool (and neither is it a great site for a conference), and with T-minus 18 hours I'm already over all the whining I expect to hear from conference-goers disappointed not to find themselves in the hipsterish enclave they thought they were headed for.

On the other hand, I'm staying with my folks, in the house I grew up in, and they've lent me their car (which they filled with gas before I got here!). I have personal knowledge of the cool places to go and a means of getting there. But I've never commuted to a conference before, and I have no idea how comfortable the shift between my familial self and my professional one will be. My childhood home is only eight miles from this year's white-hot center of Shakespeariana, but it feels much farther.


Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Hey, your actual hometown still has actual hills, and is surrounded by mountains, and water. Anybody who knocks it hasn't spent long enough living without topography.

Susan said...

My mother used to live in a city that was popular for conferences. Once I had the money, I never stayed with her during the conference because it was just too confusing. Instead, I tried to stay a day or so at one end or the other. So I'll be interested in your experience.