Because you've all been paralyzed with wonder, obsessed with how things went with my conference paper, I offer you the weekend redux, in bullet form:
- I finished my paper after an all-day, incredibly painful writing extravaganza, in which I pumped out 6 pages of text. Not bad. If I remember correctly, THAT is how I wrote the diss; days of seeming procrastination, and then a big spurt of writing.
- That day of writing immediately preceded the one on which the conference started; thus, I arrived a day late.
- This conference? Clearly I'm used to going to lit gatherings, because at some point, during the opening session, I looked around and thought to myself, "whoa. This conference is a total sausage factory." I've never seen so many geeky men in my life! Single female professors: this is the conference for you! (Email me for next year's date and locale.)
- The chair of my panel "talked" his paper, because we had about 6 people in the room. Of course, he had planned to talk it, as he had pages of bullet points and quotations. But once one of you does that, then everybody has to; I could hardly read my paper after he had just done this whole conversational thing. So I talked my paper, from its beautifully (huh) written manuscript. And it wasn't bad. And thus, I rule.
- I got good feedback from the attendees. At one point, it seemed as if the other two presenters were getting ignored, so I purposely addressed a question to the two of them and thus reminded the audience to be generous. Who's a nice panelist? Me, that's who!
- After the conference, one of the scholars I quoted in my paper looked me up online and asked for a copy of it. Again, I rule!
- And I suck too; I hate the conference networking, despite realizing its relevance and necessity. I was all dolled up and ready to go to the keynote. It was being held in a room downstairs, and occurred right after a reception. When I got there, the reception was still in full-swing. I got half-way down the stairs, realized I'd have to run the gauntlet of cheese-snarfing participants, and turned right back around. I was back in the hotel in my comfy pants in minutes.
- All told, a very positive experience, and I've got plans to go next year (and to try to be a bit braver). This might require a flask.