Academics, teaching, books, technology, and fighting introversion one post at a time.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Random bullets of conference and travel
Why is it more tiring to sit in a room all day and listen to presentations that to give a presentation, participate in a roundtable, etc.?
Why can't Starbucks have a "I'd just like a plain bagel" line so that people can get something like that without standing in the fancy coffee line? Why can't they especially do this at the airport?
Why do the flight attendants announce "We have a very full flight today, so try to step out of the aisle when putting your things in the overhead bin"? Have you been on any flight in the past 5-6 years that hasn't been "very full"? A few years ago, you could occasionally snag a whole row of seat and take a nap--ah, the golden age of travel.
I wish I had a recording memory chip in my brain for all the excellent conversations and good information I heard. I take notes when I can, but you don't want to whip out a Moleskine and start writing down what someone says when you're standing in a hall talking. I always think I'll remember it all, but I rarely do. Sometimes I write down "conference notes" after a conference, just to preserve the things that aren't in my notes already.
There is a demonstrable conference effect: let's call it Conference Brain Fog. You think you're listening, and all of a sudden you realize that you've been in a reverie for the past 10 minutes and have entirely lost the thread of the speaker's talk. Sometimes, of course, there IS no thread in the speaker's talk, which is what sets you off on the reverie in the first place. One sign of the reverie: counting the numbers of colors in the carpet.
It's nice to have a conference in a lovely location, but why does it always seem that the only sight you see is four walls, a speaker at a podium, and the back of the chair in front of you?
There's an odd dynamic when there are non-pseudonymous bloggers at a conference, most of whom are stars in the blog world, if you are better known IRL than in the blogworld but are a pseudonymous blogger. [Edited to add: I'm leaving for another conference shortly. I feel like Profgrrrl!]