Greetings from New Orleans

Howdy, y’all.  Although I got in last night (in the middle of a nasty storm), today really counts as Day 1 of this year’s CCCC odyssey.  Let me just start by registering my frustration that Kevin M can’t be here because his department and university are so stingy with travel funds.  Our system is throwing down serious demands for increased scholarly production, but at the same time scaling back on the resources we need to do it.  Apparently the dilemma isn’t clear to them.  Maybe because the members of our Board of Governors are pretty financially comfortable, they don’t understand that we can’t afford to fund our own scholarly travel.  Or maybe the conferences they go to aren’t very serious, so they don’t understand that we actually do work when we travel.  Whatever the reason is, it’s outlandish that they should expect us to pay to work.

The better news, such as it is so far, is that I’ve managed to find two pretty veggie-friendly meals since I got here.  That’s already more than I found last time I was here in Dec 2001.  Just had a tasty omelet in a greasy spoon a couple of blocks from my hotel.  Friendly crowd, newspaper machine right outside the door, all’s well.  I read a bit of the Times-Picayune and got a little sense of how scarred the city still is from Katrina.  Where I am (Garden District) looks fine, but almost every page of the A and B sections had at least one story about the slow recovery, the fed’s failure/corruption.  No surprise, but still troubling to see.

Will spend today mostly in workshops and meetings.  I get to see Jim Z for coffee later in the morning–always a highlight of the conference to spend some time catching up with him.  This afternoon, I’ll be hosting the Qualitative Research Network on my own for the first time.  Heidi’s home taking care of her new baby, which is precisely what I’d want her to be doing.  Saw Bonnie in the St. Louis airport yesterday and got to share a shuttle into the city with her.  She seems excited about the workshop, which is also precisely what I’d want.  Hope Elizabeth got in OK.

Tonight’s MADCOWSS SIG should be interesting.  It’s too bad we only get to meet once a year.  Makes our progress really slow, but I guess that’s just the nature of things.

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