Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kalamazoo Redux and Starting with the Real Work

(Thanks to all those who commented on the previous post; your impressions were really helpful. We're trying to get away from three venues, as that's clearly not ideal. Anyway, I refuse to make this a Wedding Blog, so I'm not going to talk about that anymore for now.) (I might talk about it again later though.)

Kalamazoo was pretty grand this year; I hadn't been since 05 and it was fun to back there, especially since I was less painfully insecure than on the three occasions when I went as a grad student. I didn't find myself worrying so much about being at a social-type thingy and not knowing anybody; since these thingies were usually enormous, hectic wine hours that spilled over into the book exhibit, it was unlikely that anyone was out there scorning me and saying ha! what a loser!, anyway. But the main improvement over previous years was having so many people to see: on Thursday night I met with my grad advisor and then had dinner with H, a friend whom I've literally only ever seen at Kalamazoo; on Friday morning there was the (HUGE!) blogger meet-up; Long Lost Fellow Medievalist from my grad department came to my panel, which was chaired by the Rebel Lettriste; the three of us had lunch together, and then I had dinner with LLFM; on Saturday I mainly hung by myself (packing in some actual panels) and had dinner with Medieval Woman, who was also my date to the dance (we did a bit of a drive-by, being tired and unimpressed with the music). On Sunday morning I was happy to leave town, skipping out on the last couple of panels; it had been a lot of socializing for this rural recluse. I was also harboring fears of the drive home because on Saturday night I discovered that I had left my driver's license at home, safely on top of my printer. And I had driven four and a half hours, mostly over the speed limit, to get to the 'Zoo.... Needless to say, I drove home at a more sedate pace (and actually made better time--go figure).

Academically it was pretty good, too. Maybe I've just been away from conferences for too long, but nearly all of the papers I saw struck me as good and interesting. It was so nice to just sit and learn things for a change. Oh, and my paper was fine. I don't think that I'm going to do anything with it, but there was another paper on my panel that related pretty well to my research and gave me some ideas.

Annnnd I bought a lot of books, books that I can't really afford because I just bought new contacts and am now convinced that I'm going to have to get my wisdom teeth out (no connection between those, by the way), but what are you going to do. And anyway most of them were pretty cheap.

So that's that. And now I'm working away at a variety of Things, trying to get some momentum going early in the summer. The revisions to my last chapter are moving along with surprising alacrity--alacrity so surprising that I'm half convinced they're all a huge mistake. Luckily, I am far from a perfectionist and usually proceed with a sort of blithe belief that whatever I'm writing is going to be Just Fine; I truly believe that that attitude is the cause of every academic success I've ever had, and don't intend to change it.


Notorious Ph.D. said...

Hey! It was great to finally get a chance to meet you and hear about your adventures, academic and otherwise.

heu mihi said...

Same here!

ortho said...

Hi. I'm glad you had a good conference. I hope you have a great summer!