Well, well, well–we finally pulled up to the ranch late on Sunday night, but with all of the stall-mucking and fence-riding to be done, as well as another holiday to prepare for, I’ve had no time at all to blog about the great time and intense learning that was the 2012 Gay-S-A in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I won’t bore you with the specifics of the intellectual conversations that I had, but rather will instead entertain you with a “slice of life” overview of the conference that will perhaps offer some useful strategies for those of you prepping for MLA, AHA, or the other large disciplinary conferences that will meet in the next few months. (Tenured Radical, Madwoman with a Laptop, and GayProf have all beat me to the conference round-up, so you can go there for the intelleckshul content. This blog post is–mostly–a bagatelle, a lagniappe if you will–just for fun.)
- You can make new friends and impress important people if you show up at a graduate student panel at 8 a.m. on a Friday morning. I don’t want to go into it, but you can get a (perhaps undeserved) reputation for being a decent person for doing something like that, something you might have done anyway just because you were interested in hearing the papers. Shhhhh!!!
- This may be especially important if you disappointed a lot of people at your panel. The panel was a great success, especially for a first-day, almost first-thing in the morning panel. But as I whispered to GayProf as we were being introduced, “I have the feeling that thirty people in this room are disappointed, thinking ‘that’s not what I thought he/she looked like!'”
- I like to go swimmin’ with bare-naked women and swim between their legs. True! (And that naked woman will apparently be me this weekend, because I foolishly left my brand-new bathing suit in the hotel bathroom. Oh well–I didn’t like the bottoms, although the top was super-cute–see photo below.) And it’s also true that you can have substantial intellectual conversations and engage in serious problem-solving while swimming in the ocean or pool, and while sitting around afterwards in your bathing suit or sundress. I think this might be due to the fact that it’s difficult to be pretentious or cagey when you’re only half-dressed (or worse.)
- No matter how humid or unseasonal, I should wear my boots. That way people can recognize me better. Plus: they’re protection against the very large iguanas roaming the grounds of the hotel.
- A $40 pitcher of poolside mojitos is really not as big of a ripoff as you might think, after you’ve seen the substantial pour from not one but TWO bottles of Bacardi rum going into it. (It was very theatrical, and a memory that Tenured Radical and I will share for a lifetime!) At eight glasses per pitcher, that’s a bargain for half-a-sawbuck at a swim-up bar. (Be sure to share your pitcher with at least 3 other friends, however: fewer than that or more than two drinks will lead to unfortunate attempts at thrift and thereafter to unpleasantness.)
- What Would Martha Do? There’s a reason you’ve seen embroidered pillows and framed samplers with this motto, and it’s not because of you-know-who. Martha Nell Smith, formerly known as Goose in Roxie’s World, was the inspiration for and organizer of our panel. She is better connected than Siri and a generous font of professional wisdom. I eagerly sat at her knee all weekend, and my new strategy for life is make-believing that I am she, always asking: WWMD?
- Hit the beach with a local. Madwoman with a Laptop and I got to tag along on what was a beautiful beach day, with Modellas and fried seafood for lunch afterwards. Many thanks to Rad Readr and his nephew Paco for giving us the locals’ tour.
- I have 20 followers on Twitter. Twitter came up during our panel–several audience members were actively tweeting, especially while Tenured Radical was talking. There is apparently a campaign to get me to use the account I set up purely so no one else could open an account under my name. I don’t tweet, but I logged on yesterday to learn that I’ve got followers. How’s that for pull? But I just can’t tweet, friends–I have a hard enough time updating this blog every once in a while, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate the holiday. Happy Thursday to those of you who don’t. I have a lot to be thankful for (even if I have to swim in an old bathing suit for the time being), and I hope the rest of you feel that way, too.