how much I hate conferences.
Vic reminded me this morning.
I hate them for these reasons:
1. The Wrong Choice. I am always the one listening to the graduate student talk about her innermost experiences of fieldwork.
Brian meanwhile goes to hear Deborah Brandt and Katie Clinton and we talk about their paper for the next two years.
2. Lack of focus. I was the person who missed Jean Lave at this conference because I decided to go to bed early.
Another ground-breaking experienced missed. (Brian was there).
As Jennifer and I sat down to hear Luis Moll and Elizabeth Moje we suddenly decided to buy tights and missed the whole session.
3. My networking skills are crap.
I am always the person who fails to recognise who people are so I end up spending the whole conference with someone from Lancaster, England, rather than Lancaster, Philadelphia and gossiping madly rather than exchanging cards seriously.
When a big East coast Professor does say hello I shriek and tell them inappropriately about my tights disaster and then disappear giggling with my new best friend (the graduate student whose fieldwork experiences were so compelling and has followed me around limpet-like ever since).
4. The crap session is always mine. Only 3 people go and 2 are my best friends (one is the new bf) and the other person immediately wishes they had gone to James Gee who is on next door.
30 copies of my paper go in the bin.
5. Clothes. At conferences I suddenly realise that only the New Yorkers look any good (they wear gray pencil skirts and look fabulous).
Everyone else looks terrible especially me, as my Yorkshire retro-feminist Emily Bronte bustle skirt and brogues look doesn't have any impact on the West Coast and is too hot for California.
Also my jet lag plus pale lipstick makes me look washed out.
The whole experience is like the seventh circle of hell, walking around with horrible badges, clutching the conference programme which I failed to read, and then, when I finally do go to James Paul Gee at 8 in the morning on the last day I fall asleep.
On the flight back home I lose all the cards people gave me plus the hotel receipt so I cannot even claim back the money I spent.
When I get back,my account is overdrawn and my family has forgotten I exist.
San Francisco anyone?