Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lee, Blanford, Ludlow, Charlton & Natick

I've driven virtually the entire length of the Mass Pike four times in the past eight days--and given that this year's MLA is in Boston, I'll be driving it TWICE MORE over the next five weeks.

Pro: next time, this damn semester will be over.

Con: next time, there will not be eight pies awaiting me (or a freezer full of leftovers returning with me).

Pro: I'll be staying in a swanky hotel, right in downtown Boston.

Con: I'll be spending almost two full days in a hotel room, conducting interviews.

Pro: So many friends will be there--bloggy, grad schooly, and otherwise. And I really do love MLA.

Con: I hate the new MLA dates almost as much as I love MLA.

Pro: Unlike most conferences I attend, this one is fully paid for.

Con: Boston in January. Who thought that was a good idea?

Eh. I'm sure I'll be in a better mood come January. Or at least after I've had more pie.


Renaissance Girl said...

Funny: I like the new MLA dates almost as much as I dislike MLA. I don't have to give up precious Christmas Break time with my kids to go talk to uncomfortable and anxious strangers in a room for two days.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Agreed, Ren Girl! I love the new MLA dates. When you have kids, it makes a huge difference. I wish I were going, but I see no reason to go this year. Plus, I went to Boston in April and stayed in a nice hotel. So I got my Boston fix.

Have a good time, despite the cons.

undine said...

Please tell me that MLA isn't coming up in 5 weeks! but it will be fun, won't it?

Natori Moore said...

Hi Flavia
I hope the pies were delicious. Not that you've eaten all eight already I hope. Do you or any of your readers know of any non-smoking females looking to share a hotel room at MLA Boston (at the Sheraton)? It looks like MLA doesn't have any source for roommates anymore (if it ever did). I'd appreciate any leads or places to post that you might know of. Thanks !
Natori Moore, M.A.
Carlsbad CA

Withywindle said...

I was at the AHA in Boston in January a while back. Horrible interview, Siberian weather. Good times.

Flavia said...

RG & Fie:

I originally thought the date change was a great idea--both for those with kids and without--but in practice it winds up stealing MORE of winter break: with the old dates, all my travel was done by Jan 1, leaving the rest of break an uninterrupted block of time to get writing done. Granted, it made the holidays frantic, but it was doable. Now the only option, if we want to see both sets of parents (who live on opposite coasts) AND attend MLA is to spend almost a full three weeks traveling, with only brief, useless days here and there back home. (And that scenario would be the same for us even if we had kids.)

Moreover, with the old dates, the energy and festivity of the holidays bled over into MLA in a way that I found really positive: we may all have been running on fumes, but at least we hadn't crashed yet. The new dates mean we've crashed from the holidays, have a new term bearing down on us (or already started, for many people on the quarter system!). . . but still have to drag ourselves through yet more planes, airports, etc.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Ah, see, I gave up on seeing our families every year for the holidays, until I moved back to the heartland. Now, we have no excuse.

Plus, I don't "have" to go to MLA. My department doesn't interview at the conference. They Skype instead. (Not that we're hiring anyone in the foreseeable future. I'm guessing it will be a minimum of six years before we hire anyone else, and by that time interviewing at MLA may be obsolete.)

Renaissance Girl said...

Ah--yes, the January calendar makes a big difference. My institution, like my kids' school district, starts the new semester right after the new year (though this year it's the 7th), and so my winter break has already been spent by the time MLA rolls around. When MLA was between Christmas and Dec 31, I really was pretty much losing out on the only time my kids were off from school. Now they're in school and I'm in school, and I don't mind at all having an "official" reason to extend for an extra day my all-too-short break. I can see that it would eat into productive time if one's term started later in January, though. I didn't mean to suggest that one schedule or another was better for parents vs. non-parents, by the way; just that the January dates are better for ME.