cccc 2008 in new orleans: the bullet points

CCCC-2008: the crayfish

Last week, I attended my first meeting of the College Conference on Composition and Communication. Herewith, some random bullet points:

  • I gave a paper in which I outed myself as someone who suffers from (and receives medical care for) sometimes debilitating anxiety and depression. And whaddya know? I guess I’m outing myself here, too.
  • I joined the CCCC special interest group devoted to disability studies and volunteered to develop the website.
  • I learned a lot. (Don’t laugh. I’ve been to conferences where that wasn’t the case.)
  • I talked a bit with Jeff, Jenny, and Derek at the hotel bar. I chatted briefly with Donna at the airport. I saw Clancy and Byron from afar but did not get to chat. I know other bloggers attended, but I did not see them…I fell down on the job at arranging meetups, and for that I feel somewhat guilty.
  • I attended the Bedford/St. Martin’s party at the NOLA Aquarium and couldn’t stop thinking about how much my students pay for their textbooks…and felt more than a little guilty about the free food and drink those textbook prices make possible. I’m pretty sure I’m going to stop using textbooks in my composition classrooms.
  • I ate two oyster poboys, gumbo, jambalaya, and a lot of Abita beer.
  • I spent a lot of time with UMKC people, who I miss. But I returned home happy to be where I am now.
  • I did not spend enough time in the interesting places right at the outskirts of the French Quarter, in which Bourbon Street remains a kind of Disneyland filtered through Larry Flynt’s eyes. But I was glad to find those interesting places.

I’m tagging the links I find related to the conference. If you’ve written about it, or know of relevant links, go ahead and add them to using the tag cccc-2008. And I hope to write more about the conference as well as bloggers’ reactions, time permitting. However, the days are pretty busy here at the end of the semester in Sparkletonia. In a perfect world, I’d post an mp3 of my talk. We’ll see…

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iceland in october?

Only recently did I learn about the Iceland Airwaves music festival. For less than $700, you get round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, breakfast, and a festival pass. The dates correspond with our fall break.


Update: I think this requires two people to qualify for the package deal. Anyone want to go with me?

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i’ll be in the d.c. area next week

I’ll be staying with Chuck from this Saturday (June 24) through Thursday (June 29). I’m hoping to see some of my ‘herding peeps while I’m in town, so don’t be shy, y’all.

Any non-‘herding readers in the area are encouraged to contact me, too.

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since our last episode…

…I have

  • been shopping with Laurie and Jeff on Regent Street in London on Sunday (we ate lunch at a pub called Shakespeare’s Head, which features witty Elizabethan sayings on the walls like “Having a hairy chest does not make you a porn star”),
  • had dinner and then a pint with Meg on Sunday night,
  • spent all day in the BL on Monday, joining Scott, Shelley, and Meg for lunch,
  • trained up to Oxford on Tuesday to look at some things in the Bodleian, where the bathroom graffiti announces that “This place is full of scary old men and scary old books” (mad props* to Ian for making my trip to the town and to the library so effortless),
  • spent the night at Ian’s and Fiona’s.

And finally, today I took the train to Manchester, where I am currently posting from an Internet cafe. I have some good pix to post, but wireless access for my laptop is uncertain, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to share them. The plan is to take it easy today, do some grocery shopping, maybe catch a movie, and then hit the ground running tomorrow at the MARC.

*I’m so hip, aren’t I?

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busy few days

Friday and Saturday were awesome research days at the British Library. I found some really juicy stuff that’s going to be very useful. I was there yesterday from 9:30 until closing at 5:00 yesterday, and I was so excited by what I was finding that I didn’t want to leave.

My time has not been filled only with work, however. Friday night I saw a very good production of Henry IV Part 1 with Laurie and her friend Jessica at the National Theatre. Tuesday night we’ll catch the second part. Jessica totally kicks ass for landing tickets to supposedly sold-out shows.

Last night my friend Nancy and I headed out to the hip joint of the moment, which goes by the name of the Boogaloo. It’s supposed to be the place to see and be seen, but it seemed just like any other pub I’ve been to in London. Well, there was one difference: the beer was about twice as expensive. Still, it was fun to hang out there, and the way the juke box works is pretty cool. The rumor is that Coldplay went there once to take in (or contribute to) the vibe and got angry when no one recognized them.

Today was an eighteenth-century geek’s idea of paradise. Nancy and I shared a delicious lunch at a Thai restaurant, then visited Dennis Severs’ House (see photo below), which is one part living history site and two parts happening.

Subsequently, we walked up City Road to John Wesley’s chapel, built in the 1760s, and to Bunhill Fields, the Nonconformists’ cemetery right across the street.

The Museum of London was our next stop, and coincidentally enough, there is a sculpture next to the entrance that marks the site of John Wesley’s conversion experience; Wesley described feeling a “strange warming of the heart” while walking along Aldersgate Street. Not exactly the most dramatic of descriptions given that some of Wesley’s evangelical peers were passing out and speaking in tongues.

The Museum of London is a well-done presentation of the history of the city, with artifacts from the last several hundred years. We each bought a reproduction of a 1745 London map, and then headed straight for the Restoration and eighteenth-century sections, which has an exhibit on the Great Fire of 1666, and then several other exhibits organized thematically around themes like “printing” or “prison.” Perhaps I’m making it sound too dry, but it really is well done. I especially like this “sermon glass”.

Next on the agenda: more walking! We ended up at a pub for a couple of pints of John Courage (produced by a brewery founded in 1787), and capped off the day with dinner at an Indian restaurant of my favorite kind.

Now I’m going to bed…

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