jeudi, novembre 16, 2006

SEM Day 1: Early Rising

So, a certain friend of ours, none other than Mr. Wayne of wayneandwax had a paper in a 7am, session, so we all dragged our asses out of bed at 6h30 and headed down to the meeting rooms to find him. If I had thought of it earlier, I would've made a picket sign that said "I'M ONLY AWAKE FOR YOU" and held it up as he delivered his paper. Who starts an academic conference at 7h00? Especially an ethnomusicology conference. Most other SEM conferences have started at 8 or 9 in the morning, but I get the impression that there were simply too many papers accepted this year and they just had to add sessions wherever they could. Either way, there were cumulative results:

  • You had to get up early for morning sessions, so nighttime activities (i.e. schmoozing, networking, partying) were more subdued this year.
  • There were more paper sessions going on simultaneously than usual, so you had to make lots of difficult decisions between generally interesting papers, papers in your field, papers delivered by friends and colleagues, and other things, such as meals and peeing.
  • There were very few "holes" made in the schedule and lunch breaks were very short, which meant that you had much less time to chat with other attendees at the conference, eat meals together, etc, and %75 of the SEM conference experience goes on outside of paper sessions.
  • The conference organizers didn't leave open the Friday afternoon, as they often did in earlier conferences. This open afternoon usually meant that people could take care of a few touristic outings at that time, and would be less tempted to skip papers and events during the conference. Without that window of opportunity, many of us started skipping large chunks of the conference to take advantage of Hawaii. I mean, we were in fucking Hawaii. I'll be damned if I'm not going to hit the beach once in a while.

Anyway, first day of the conference went well, despite the tight schedules. A bunch of us had lunch at this awesome veggie sandwich shop called "Ruffage"; the owners were this older Japanese couple who constantly heckled each other as they made your sandwiches. Very amusing, if a bit rough at times. I hit the welcome reception that night as well, and then there followed some drinking and carousing that I sort of lost track of. Good times, tho.

UPDATE: pics of Hawaii here.

2 commentaires:

wayne&wax a dit…

in case it doesn't go without saying, i very much appreciate that you and the gang dragged your ahems out of bed to my very early morning paper!

LMGM a dit…

Hey Wayne, our pleasure! OK, I'll admit that our pleasure was a bit dampened by what we were up to the night before, but nonetheless it was a bleary-eyed pleasure.