>This is the first time I’ve been a participant at this particular conference, though I was once an outside-ish observer (the very green grad student assistant for the campus organizing it), and I’m noticing something about it that may or may not be characteristic of it. Perhaps those of you more in the know can tell me if I’m wrong or right.
While there are lots of very good things about it, it’s also very full of anxiety, insecurity, and posturing. It’s as bad as MLA, and yet there are no job interviews here. But for some stupid reason, people are acting as if there were, like they have to be “on” all the time. Not everyone (not any of the friends of this blog), but a lot of people.
I don’t think I want to come back. Even Medieval Academy is mellower than this (especially when it hooks up with the Medieval Association of the Pacific — then it *rocks*).
But still, there’s one very awesome thing about this conference this year: castles. Got to climb all over two of them today. I’ll post pictures when I get them up.
PS — More small world stories: on the first morning at breakfast, I tried to sit and eat alone because I was still very, very tired, but I was joined by a complete stranger, and so had to make small talk. Turns out she was born and raised in Rust Belt! So small talk was easier than I thought it would be. Hooray for Rust Belt — bringing strangers together!