Saturday, August 5
Something else I like about conferences is that everyone else hates them. They are awkward swirling frenzies of crap that send everyone running to the miserable insecurity of their hotel rooms. And that's how I know I'll finally have time to see my friends. I try not to schedule those meetings in advance because, in the days preceeding the conference, our schedules always say there's no time for that. But I promise you, everyone, has run off to hide--alone or with someone they trust. That's why it's so difficult to get your obligatory schmoozing done, which leaves a big gap in your previously "busy" schedule, etc.

So if you have run off to your hotel room to read a.secret, this my gift to you. It's a one-week blog (sorda) from Stanley Fish that he did for Slate in January of 2000. "Stan" is probably one of the 5 most famous people at any given conference on literature or law and he has the biggest ego on the planet (as you'll see), but his physical presence is more like that of Ross Perot.

At the time, he was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, so the whole journal could be interesting reading for a.secret fans, but if you're in need of a quick conference pick-me-up, the second half of the first entry should do it for ya.'


Chartreuse Circe said...

Okay, so does this make me the strangest person ever or something? Because I love conferences. Particularly the big mutli-ring circus spring one in my field.

Halle Barrymoore said...

Certain conferences I enjoy precisely because I know in advance that my priority is on the social.

Turquoise Stuff said...

Well, it's certainly the case that presentations are not the main reason to attend most conferences, not the big ones anyway. Seeing people - whether friends or meeting new colleagues - is an important component. But I guess there has to be the official professional element otherwise most people wouldn't get reimbursed by their institutions.

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