Thursday, November 20, 2008

GEMCS: Day One

I've just arrived in Philly for the sometimes-annual, always-chaotic conference of the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies--an organization that Augie's former department chair refers to as "the Unitarians of the conference world." Although I've been holed up in my room for the past two hours, responding to student emails, I'm settling into the conference experience nicely.

A few bulletins from the front:

    On the train into the city, I accurately IDed all of my fellow conference goers. The dudes with beards and glasses were easy, the younger folk a bit harder. Still: carrying a garment bag and reading Harpers? A bit too self-conscious in one's hipster-dom (as if determined to recreate Williamsburg in Omaha)? Them's academics.


    As I was rolling self and suitcase into the hotel, an older dude somewhere behind me cried out in annoyance. I looked over my shoulder, and it appeared that he had stumbled, but it wasn't clear how. Whatever had happened seemed minor, so I kept walking--down a hall and around a couple of corners to the reception desk. Suddenly the man (bearded and bespectacled, natch) was at my side and shouting, "YOU COULD HAVE APOLOGIZED!" "Excuse me?" I said. "I tripped on your suitcase! You could have apologized!" "Well," I said. "I'm sorry that you didn't see my suitcase."


    Being simultaneously lazy and mesmerized by repetitive, time-sucking tasks, I scorn the iron and the ironing board provided in hotel rooms. Instead, I hang my suits up on the shower curtain rod and flick water all over them, smoothing out the wrinkles as I go. Would turning on a hot shower, closing the door, and letting the garments steam out be equally effective? Yes. Do I do this? No.


    I was shattered to learn that the promised panel on "gin culture" didn't materialize. I'll have to assemble an ad hoc committee to investigate.


moria said...

You'll be even better able to identify the group of Penn grad students arriving stealthwise -- we'll be the elegant, attractive ones in ninja masks. (Why pay a hundred dollars when you can play acadaninja instead?)

See you Saturday, perhaps.

medieval woman said...

Okay - that was an awesome comeback! And I just dropped our friend J off at the airport yesterday so she could fly to GEMCS - maybe you'll run into each other!
Have fun!

AcadeMama said...

With comebacks like that, you'll sound like a Philly native ;)

Renaissance Girl said...


That's exactly why I didn't go this year.

Pamphilia said...

I love the unitarians comment. That made my day. And your suits always look lovely and wrinkle-free- I shall have to try that time-saving measure.

My word-verification was "disons" (as in "disons-nous ou est le petit reunion de gin culture?"

Anonymous said...

as if determined to recreate Williamsburg in Omaha

Hey! Philly is not Omaha, come on!

yours offendedly,

Flavia said...