Thursday, August 13, 2009

ASA San Francisco Reflections

As I sit here on my couch with my new netbook, typing up my reflections on this year's ASA in San Francisco,...

Wait, new netbook you say?

Why, yes indeed. You see, my old netbook decided to wile away the hours on the return flight by taking a lovely orange juice bath in my bag. It was simply to DIE for. I am still hoping I can retrieve the data on the hard drive. Because if I can't, then I will have lost all the pictures from the 2nd day of my trip on. And my syllabi for the two courses I'm teaching in a little over a week. Argh and damnations.

Gone as if they never happened to begin with. A sad ending to an otherwise delightful conference and city.

Some highlights:

1. Inviting a complete stranger to room with us because we wanted to save money, and having her turn out to be the mostest awesomest roommate ever! I found her through the SWS student listserv, and she just happened to be from a neighboring state (hello, Ohio!), also be on the job market, have a cohort member who is brother to a student in our program (and who we had an awesome dinner with my first night in), is a Harry Potter fan, and doesn't snore, among other things!

2. Japantown, a peaceful respite from the hubbub of the conference. It is also where I found my wonderful sleeves. According to the package, ""This sleeve is for you to make you feel special. It protect you from sunlight and cold. You can spend a good time with this sleeve." I'd show you a picture, but...DAMMIT THEY WERE ON MY NETBOOK. Anyway...the sleeves were $1.50, and actually a great deal. I wore them under my sweater to the Departmental Alumni Night. And I did feel special. And I did have a good time.

3. Which brings me to the Departmental Alumni Night (DAN). Now, technically, no school I graduated from was present. Nor was the school I am attending, even. But I went anyway. Because why should I be excluded just because my school decided not to participate? And I am so glad I did. It was one of the best experiences at the conference. My AWOL co-blogger Monsoon (remember her?) and I went with an IU grad student, so we mainly hanged around the IU table. And let me tell you, IU was representing that night. Not only did they have their little table sign, but they brought a FLAG. For their TABLE. And their space was significantly crowded. But I ran into and met so many people there. Most excited about: Richard Serpe, who does work very similar to mine except he's famous and I' I also caught up with Brian Powell, who has an amazing ability to remember and connect people. If the world of sociology were a web, he's the spider running around spinning connections and maintaining the web's structure and stability.

And then there's Marty Weinberg, who was walking past, and I pointed at him and shouted (yes, shouted) "I cite you!!!!" Luckily, this is not a man who gets weirded out easy. But then, this is someone who wrote an entire article examining fecal habitus (awesome theoretical perspective, btw).

4. I provide more evidence of my complete lack of filters again this year at the blogger party. However, generally speaking I think I held my own well. Long gone are the days I go to a party and cower in the corner. Whether that is a good thing or not has yet to be decided :) . And I got to meet more awesome bloggers! It's always interesting meeting people in person when you've only interacted with them online before. Sometimes people are exactly what you expect, but sometimes you can build up this mental image that is so far off it's funny. And there's this weird familiarity/unfamiliarity that you encounter with people you mostly know online. Like "Hi, I'm Anomie," and they say "Pleased to meet you. How was your interview today? And I see you decided to put your hair up. Good choice."

5. My pre-interview coffee with Dream School went well. It was more like a chat over coffee than an interview, really. She talked about the department and how great it is, I talked about my dissertation and how great it is, etc. And her response to my follow-up "thank you for meeting me please don't forget me HIRE ME HIRE ME" email was positive and gave me hope. Now I just have to sit back and anxiously twiddle my thumbs, waiting for the job to get posted so I can apply. Woo-hoo!


Carly said...

I ended up napping through the scatterplot party. Once again, I feel like I probably missed the best part of ASA. Sad.

Although, I was glad to have my nap.