The conference feels a little strange this year. For me, personally, some of it has to do with New Orleans. Along with everybody else who’s sensitive to the post-Katrina ethos of the city (which is the huge majority of the strangeness–let me be very clear about that), I’m also tired of trying to find vegetarian food options besides omelets. I’m also not much of a partier any more, and that seems to be most of what happens here. At the conference itself, because of the layout of the main hotel, it’s hard to run into people in the usual ways; there are three or four different places where people congregate, and unless you just happen to guess correctly, you’re not likely to see who you’re looking for.
Events have gone well. The Qualitative Research Network rocked. Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater and Bonnie Sunstein rocked the keynote, which I knew they would (that’s why we invited them!), and the feedback I’ve gotten from attendees has been very positive. One of the facilitators complained that a roundtabler kind of took over the group, but that happens every now and again. The MA consortium meeting was efficient and interesting; I like the work we’re doing (otherwise I wouldn’t do it).
Today I meet with some members of the CCCC Research Committee. I expect to have to defend the QRN against being folded into the Research Network Forum. Heidi and I think that’s a terrible idea for a whole bunch of reasons. Maybe I’m wrong about their agenda; I hope so. It would make the whole experience a lot more pleasant.
Got to hang with my friend Joe Williams for a while last night. We wound up latching onto a group from NC State that was dining with some folks from Bedford. Bedford seems not to blink at spending thousands of dollars to wine and dine potential customers, let’s just say. The meal was outstanding. The wine was very good (until a waiter poured the wrong red into my glass when he was trying to refill mine). I felt slightly guilty about eating and drinking on the publisher’s dime, especially because I don’t use any of their textbooks. But then I thought, “Hell, they gouge the daylights of people every day.” Probably not a good justification, but it worked at the time. And now I’m too tired and out of sorts to worry about it!
Can’t wait to get home tomorrow and see Ann. This is the first time I’ve traveled since we got married, and I’ll be much happier next time when she comes with me!