conferential: December 2005 Archives

what does it say?

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What does it say that Debbie is blogging my MLA experience in more detail than I am?

We completed our interviews today, and in the interests of ethics, I'll keep my damn blog shut in that regard. Except to say that my conference hotel has not been extremely conducive to the interview process. One poor soul endured multiple interruptions ranging from housekeeping to someone knocking on our door by mistake, etc. etc. It's been a solid 6-7 years since I both attended MLA and participated in an interview marathon, and I must say that my goals in the interim have diminished. Nowadays, I just look to get through them without becoming an "MLA Interview Story," both personally and collectively.

Personally was a close thing. Last night, after meeting up with Debbie, I got good and properly Mucklebauered, which may become my permanent term for the (often poor) decision to drink too much, stay out too late, and suffer for it the following morning. I didn't get home until 2:30, whereupon I lied down, rolled over once, and found that 4+ hours had passed. Copious amounts of water, coffee, and Aleve managed to resuscitate me sufficiently for the 9 AM interview, but only just. Only just.


  • I can state with certainty that I feel no more at home at MLA than I did as a noob and an applicant.

  • I haven't yet managed to scan the tag of the One Woman I Inexplicably See All the Time, so I can't send her a thank you note yet, although Clancy and I had a funny conversation about this.

  • I'm more and more convinced that all it would take is for several of our leading programs to decide to interview at NCTE, and within 4-5 years, we could dispense with MLA altogether. I don't think that this is likely to happen.

  • I've still never been to a panel at MLA, although I dropped by to say hi to Clancy, Dave Blakesley, and Kris Blair following theirs.

  • As I listened at the door, I was reminded of why I don't really care to attend MLA panels--I've mentioned a time or two before my aversion to Q&A, and MLA may be the worst for this: questions that are really 3-4 minute presentations...

  • Back to Syracuse tomorrow...but I've got a mixer to drop in on, a friend to dine with tonight, and a couple more friends to break fast with in the morning.

That is all.

MLA! Hooray!

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Okay, so maybe not.

Since I drove out to IA for the holidays, I had to drive back, detouring in DC for MLA. Yes, that means that, rather than a full-fledged Christmas dinner, I got to sate myself Sunday night with 200-odd miles on I-74.

But I'm here now, for whatever that's worth. And unlike Clancy, I promise no blogging. Or rather, I'm not going to promise any blogging. Our interview schedule is mercifully light, and I hope to catch up with a friend or two, and I hope that's all I have to report.

One nifty surprise was seeing Byron in the lobby of my hotel and catching up with him for a spell. In conversation with him, I realized that this is the first MLA I've attended since 1999. That's a streak I wouldn't have minded continuing, but alas.

Good luck to those who are interviewing for positions...



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This page is a archive of entries in the conferential category from December 2005.

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