Sleepless in Philadelphia

Ok, not exactly sleepless, since I haven’t been to bed yet, but it’s terribly LATE for Annie Em to be awake especially since she’s usually asleep by now PST!

But I’m awake.

Had a lovely, hectic, productive, interesting day at MLA 09.  Spent the morning at the hotel Fitness Center with about 8 other folks who thought it a good idea to work out at 7am ish.  Then had my biggest breakfast ever in the hopes that I would be nourished enough to last the day’s panels and the possibly very long MLA meeting this afternoon. That sort of worked (luckily, there was cake at the Book Exhibit and a colleague brought snacks to the really Very Long (but, as always, fascinating) Meeting this afternoon).

Went to a panel this morning that was not the best I’ve attended this session, mostly because it was an overview of professional issues that I am, as I belatedly realize, fully aware of now. But the young grad student next to me was not, and her thought was to learn all about the politics of the profession she was soon to enter. Brava to her. We chatted about that briefly before the session began.

We both snuck out soon after..

I chatted with several grad students today, including one who said that she had no interviews, but also hadn’t considered EVER teaching at a community college: instead, her plan was to “sell” her  barely finished dissertation to a publisher.  You see, she and her hubby have a lovely house south of San Fran on the ocean that they bought a few years ago. Yes, on the ocean. So she was sort of place- bound.   I wished her luck. You know, some grad students have it really tough.

Then I met others who had 5 interviews, 3 of them that went very well. And other grad students who were very concerned that they may soon be required to teach 2 courses a semester instead of 1. And I was really feeling very  badly for their plight. 

Luckily, I eventually met a few graduate students who seemed to be living the life I did  (those who were teaching at 3 different schools, while writing their dissertations, and searching for jobs all over the country), and I sighed with some relief because you know we full profs really want to replicate ourselves.

But seriously: it is not a good time to be the graduate student waking up from his/her 7-sort of-year slumber to realize that the climate has changed even more drastically than a few degrees.  I don’t envy them. Well, I do envy the one with the oceanfront property, but that’s all, really.

But I did have a lovely evening, after the Very Long (but fascinating) Meeting, dining and catching up with a friend from college.  Catching up with other colleagues. Learning that I prefer sauvignon blanc to pinot grigio when I’m going to drink for several hours. And if you are eating at the Marriott’s “13” tomorrow, I highly recommend the Cobb Steak Salad: it was large, yummy, divine!

A friend of mine asked me to list the names of funny, mockable panels, and I can’t find any. Really. This must be the year of the mundane conference panel titles.  Am I missing one?

I’ll sleep on it.

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2 responses to “Sleepless in Philadelphia

  1. Sounds like you are very busy…am enjoying living vicariously through your posts! How cool that you’re interacting with grad students, too. And huzzah for awesome Cobb Salads!

    Did you have the blogger meetup? 🙂

  2. Yep, did have TWO blogger meet ups, actually;-) How odd and how fabulous, at the same time, to meet women I have created in my own head from just their words. More on that when I get home and get some much needed sleep!

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