Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's Done, and I'm Off

Taking another big breath. More like a sigh of relief. The conference paper is done, despite E deciding that this week would be a good time to get a yucky stomach bug and cut two new teeth, which prevented her from being able to attend montessori until yesterday. Her staying at home meant hubby staying home with her, while I worked furiously at the office to:

- write the damn conference paper,
- prepare materials for Friday's class and the instructor who'll be filling in for me (thank you again Supadiscomama!),
- hold several conferences with students who are still floundering with the concept of writing anything other than a mere summary of a poem.

I've been confident all along that if I survive the month, everything else is cake. This week, it became an issue of, if I can survive this week, I'll be happy to be alive!

With the backpack loaded with conference paper, stacks of papers to grade, and materials with which I must plan the schedule for the remainder of the semester, I'll soon be off to Home State. Since E made a recovery in time, and my mother is convinced she can handle the minor crankiness of a teething baby, E will be joining H and I on the 6-hour drive back home. While I'm at the conference, E will be staying with my parents - Nana and Papaw - for the very first time without mommy and daddy. Tomorrow morning will find me flying to Conference City, putting in a long day at the conference, complete with dinner and plenary lecture, and then driving to my aunt and uncle's house for lodging (I finally have a conference near relatives!). Aside from all teaching duties, my goals for the weekend are to

- Make some good contacts!
I have a horrible habit of shutting myself up in the hotel room, only attending the sessions that sound interesting, and only speaking to others when I'm spoken to first. This is not good, and I know it must change. The plenary speaker is also an editor for one of the journals in my field, and she's someone I've considered inviting to campus as part of a symposium on early modern women playwrights.

- Watch the football game of Home State College Team on Saturday.
I realizes these goals are somewhat at odds with each other, as my panel is on Saturday and so is the game. And, English academics aren't known for vegging in front of the lobby bar's t.v. to watch some pigskin. But, one must make room for change, right?

I may blog while I'm gone, taking advantage of extremely rare Time Away from Husband and Children. Or, maybe I'll do as a friend recently recommended: go wild and crazy on the town! :)


mom said...

No way - you and Supadiscomama are at the same university - that's too cool. I love finding out that kind of stuff about bloggers. It's like when I find out 2 students in my class are a couple. Aww. Well, tell her I miss her blog!

Congrats on your paper -- knock em dead!

mom said...

And, yes, network!! Tell yourself that you are going to have 3-5 new meaningful contacts with people. Meaningful is key, and they don't have to be the head of theuniverse either. Other grad students count too. Two of my KEY contacts in my field now, were in grad school when I was and finished 2 years ahead of me. We made friends then, b/c of our similar interests and now I routinely get useful requests from them for this or that, and hope to have at least one of them be one of my external reviewers for tenure.

M said...

Have a ball!