Sunday, May 24, 2009

Conference at Carleton U, Part II

I never thought I would enjoy this conference quite as much. First, I was approached by somebody who has read my articles and used them for his research. There is nothing an academic loves more than having her name recognized. It is so rewarding to hear people (well, one person for now, but I am ever hopeful for more) say "So you are the person who wrote those articles about identity."

Then, a publishing house offered to review my book for publication. They said my topic is "just what we might need."

Another positive thing is that there is wireless in all conference rooms and I can blog during boring presentations. This is especially useful during those sessions where the first and the last talks are really interesting, while the two that come between them are a huge yawn.

The campus, of course, leaves a lot to be desired. It seems that nobody here has heard of air conditioning. I had to prowl all over the campus to find one air-conditioned room. It has now become my refuge between sessions. The only food we have access to without going all the way downtown consists of burgers, hotdogs and donuts. I love hotdogs but there is a limit to how many you can stand eating in three days. Even this paltry choice of food disappears after 6 p.m. Which is right before the end of conference sessions. I finally located a cafeteria that might have a widero choice of food, but of course they had closed down 10 minutes before a arrived.

People at this school surely haven't heard that equal rights entail equal responsibilities. If they want visibility and profits attached to our conference's presence on their campus, they should make efforts to make our stay bearable. Knowing of our association's egalitarian stance they feel that no effort is needed. And this is wrong.

Next year, the conference will take place at Concordia University in Montreal. There, we will not have to depend on anybody's inept organizing. The only problem will be that people will skip presentations in favor of enjoying the beautiful city.

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