Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday bullets

Some things going on:

- I have actually become angry about the conversation I had with my colleague the other day. Not about her course - whatever. It was the other ways she was talking to me about my beginning this program. It was a conversation consisting in the main of veiled threats - served to me with smiles and a chai latte she insisted on paying for. I won't rehash it here. But I am not pleased, not at all.

- Today I had a meeting with a student in my first-year course. I'd asked her to come and meet with me because I am curious about her, frankly. What the heck her deal is - why she's so freaking brilliant at, like, 18 and in her first year of university. Well, no, not really - I wanted to check in and see what she was thinking of doing her degree in, see if she was bored to tears in her first-year courses. So I asked, "What are you thinking of for your degree?" She said, "For my undergrad degree, I'm thinking of..." Ha - for her undergrad degree. Someone had a sense of her path, doesn't she? Her dad is my departmental colleague. She writes these stratospherically learned things. In our meeting, she sat there, all lanky and shy - such a classic teenaged girl. But she worked the word "intertextuality" into our conversation. And the thing is, she knows what this means - I read her writing every week; I see that she's not name-dropping. She's not arrogant. And yes, she went to a regular public high school. Huh. I guess she's really a living example of what can come of living in an intellectual household. I just hope she can carve her own path, out of her dad's shadow. She wants to minor in my program and major in another. These are both fields that have a lot of overlap with her father's fields.

- I am off to a conference tomorrow morning. Returning Sunday night. Do not want. I am nervous about my paper. I feel like a fish out of water at this conference, doing something quite different from - and more easily dismissable than (in this context) - what other folks are doing.* That, and there are going to be a lot of people at my talk. Great combination. I'm doing this because my mentor suggested I get in the habit of doing more Canadian conferences, for visibility. She was right; I should be. But I wish this weren't one. Repeat: Do not want.

- What is worse than going to a conference you don't want to be at, to network? When you have so much to do that any spare non-networking or nervous-nausea time is going to be spent holed up in your hotel room doing program-building? Doing so when you're sick. That's right. The telltale signs began this morning and intensified this evening. I have a full-blown cold. And I have to fly there. Ugh. Looking on the bright side, perhaps my paper will be a foggy, sinus-y blur (for me, I mean, not the audience)!

- More bright side: Mentor will be at this conference - I will see her! Hooray!

- Good luck, me, with the cold and the paper!

*You know, it really bugs me how annual conferences get organized around themes, so you tailor your paper to the theme and then see that nobody else has done so and that the theme meant absolutely nothing and now yours stands out as...just...weird in this context.


dbm/gaa said...

Get well and good luck with the paper! And enjoy time with your mentor.

I should do more Canadian conferences as well, at least more North American ones, but why go to Winnipeg when there is something interesting going on in Cairo?

Pantagruelle said...

Good luck at the conference, and I hope you manage to fight off or get over the cold soon! It sounds like seeing Mentor will make the conference worthwhile. I haven't done Canadian conferences in a long while either, after being a Canadian conferncee junkie for several years, but it is definitely a good idea to do so and make some Canadian contacts. I hope you're flying to someplace nice and can get out of the hotel and enjoy the city a bit.

Marcelle Proust said...

After the conference, you can has cheezburger. Hope u want.

Hilaire said...

Oh yes, Marcelle! I shall have Harvey's veggie burger, which is a favourite thing of mine. There are no Harvey's outlets in my new city, which has been a tragedy, but there is one a the airport here in conference city, I saw. You can bet I'll has cheezburger after conference!

Conference GREAT, by the way. Just great. Need to post about.

medieval woman said...

Oh - I'm glad the conference went well! I hope you feel better soon (or are already feeling better)!