psu05: July 2005 Archives

The panelists, plus Jodie

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A Panel + 1

I'm sure that there's someone somewhere who hates photos of themselves as much as I do, but oh well. Here we have Dan, me, John, and Jodie. As John noted later, and you can observe, it's a rare panel indeed where John is the scrawny hippie of the bunch, but there you go.

I can relate about Tuesday night that I was wearing sneaks, which I only do occasionally in lieu of sandals in the summer, and as a result, kept catching my feet on chairs, bottles, etc. Felt like a klutz, but mostly it was just that my body sense was thrown off. Surprisingly enough, the liberal consumption of alcohol did little to improve the situation. Perhaps the single most astounding thing about our little party was the truly encyclopedic soundtrack: seven hours of songs performed by bands other than the ones who'd originally recorded them. Wow.

Jodie is my hero

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Hard to tell from this photo, but this is Jodie who, on the basis of knowing me for all of like 15 minutes, offered her spare room and futon bed as a solution for my sleeping woes. I know that she's probably tired of me thanking her, so I won't. I will say that she came home after a pretty long Monday night, and stayed up with me for a while helping me revise my paper, which did I mention was the worst paper in the world at one point? In less than a week, she's driving cross-country to take up her newly-appointed position at the University of Idaho, and I'll have the chance to repay her kindness by offering her a spare room in Davenport while she's on the road.

At the risk of sounding maudlin or addled with thoughts of serendipity, I'd add that Jodie and I hit it off almost immediately, in a way that really made the conference for me. At the risk of adding in ulterior conversations, I'd add that a lot of what we do as academics is incredibly isolating, and so meeting people and clicking with them is a rare luxury (this is one of the best reasons for academics to blog, Ivan).

I've thrown up a set for the handful of conference photos I took, and this is among them (and large enough to actually see).

Penn State, Day 3

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Tuesday began with my own session, featuring first me, then Dan, then John. My paper wasn't the worst paper in the world, apparently. I'd share it here, but it would require me to retype almost half of it, and I haven't decided whether that's something I want to do. It's a slight re-focusing of the essay I've been working on for CCC, revised to include a little more Burke than I did originally. I wrote probably about half of it from scratch (twice--ugh.), and learned a little more about what I need to do with that essay. So that was good.

I don't really take notes during my panels, because I'm usually too keyed up. On Tuesday, given my lack of sleep, being keyed up basically counteracted my exhaustion, leaving me awake. Dan and John were both very good. As I've mentioned to a couple of people, I often feel like my own work is a little thin conceptually next to them, but then I remember that pretty much most of the rest of my field would feel that way (if not moreso) on a panel with them, and then I don't feel so bad.

The highlight of the panel for me was during Q&A, as Robert Wess was asking John a question. Most people didn't see this, as they were watching him, but John was taking a drink just as Wess suggested that he go back and read more Burke, leading to the most spectacular spit-take I've ever witnessed at an academic conference. Bad news was that I was right in the path of the spectacle. Still, pretty funny stuff.

Penn State, Day 2

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Sunday night, or Monday morning more precisely, we came back to Jenny's after shooting pool until about 1, and I proceeded to work over the paper I was delivering Tuesday morning. Two things of note: I had had a fair amount of beer, and I hadn't really slept more than about 2 or 3 hours the night before. I stayed up til about 5 or 5:30, and got up around 9:30 on Monday morning, although to describe my state of being as "up" is probably hyperbole.

Anyhow, I missed the session on "Virtual Burke, Visual Burke," one of the ones that I'd really hoped to catch. And then, because the next session began at 10:15, I missed "Burke Embodied," which I also really wanted to see. Who's a crappy conference attendee? Yeah, that'd be me.

Penn State, Day 1

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I drove down to State College, PA, on Saturday, met up with Jeff and Jenny, got a subpar night of sleep (see above), and on Sunday, the conference began. We got there earlier than we needed to be, so we registered, and bounced down to the retail/restaurant stretch bordering the Penn State campus.

A fair portion of the conference took place in the Nittany Lion Inn, which was really a pretty nice facility. Good spaces, good food. But no wireless, which was really quite strange. And by strange I mean inconvenient in various ways, not the least of which was the complete pointlessness of lugging my laptop to the first day of the conference. But oh well. Good cheesecake.

July 2005: Monthly Archives



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