Monday, February 13, 2006

Travelogue: Albuquerque '06, Installment 2


So that brings us to day three of the trip, day two of the actual conference. *drum roll*....presentation day. I woke up Thursday morning expecting to be sick-nervous, but I actually wasn't as bad off as expected. Seeing the panel presentations on Wednesday took some of the pressure off.

Our panel, Coloring America: Strategizing Cultural Identities in Contemporary Graphic Narrative went on at 8am. I skipped breakfast, got my happy ass ready, and was 30 mins early so I could read back over my paper and make some scratchy notes. J-Low, D-rock, and the 4th on our panel (a guy from Carleton University...Ottawa, Ontario) arrived soon after. Much to our chagrin and pissiness they apparently ran out of those fake walls they use to split ballrooms into smaller rooms. The only thing partitioning our panel from Creative Writing was a curtain. Curtains don't do shit for blocking out noise, so we had to yell over the creative writers and they are a rowdy crowd. We had maybe 10-15 people at our panel, which for an 8:00'er is pretty good. I was most nervous about the Q&A, but since we all took our full time to read our papers, we only had 10 mins leftover. No weird questions. Yay!

I was satisfied with my reading for a number of reasons:

1. I sounded like I have personality. I know, I do, but I didn't know if it'd sound like it.
2. They laughed in the right places.
3. I saw some head-nods.
4. I made a joke when my shirt got caught on a pin holding the table skirt on.
5. I interjected some off-the-cuff remarks that worked.
6. I got a couple of questions after the panel was over since we didn't have for much Q&A.

All these things do a happy first-time presenter make.

I hoofed it back to the hotel to change into jeans and out of my heels, hoofed it back to the conference and attended the following panels...

Children's and Young Adult Lit: Reading Between the Lines and Under the Surface - Good panel, but one paper in particular was superlative..."Everyone Lived Happily, Though Maybe Not Completely Honestly, Ever After: The Lessons of the Stinky Cheese Man and his Bookmates." Whew! What a title, but the paper was awesome. And for those of you who dig postmodern picture books, fairy tales, or just wanna take my great advice, read Stinky Cheese Man.

Children's and Young Adult Lit: Taking Back Power Once Denied in Young Adult Culture - I missed the first paper because I popped in on another paper dealing with Michael Cunningham's The Hours. The second paper made my ass implode. The author was a theater person, and while I love theater people, she put WAY too much acting in her reading. And 20 direct quotes didn't help either. The final paper was the one I really liked. It dealt with fairy tales in YA literature, and specifically on works by Emma Donoghue (Kissing the Witch) and a couple of others...some of which I mentioned in my paper, too. I decided to do a little networking, so I approached the prof afterwards and introduced myself. Turns out she went to grad school with D-rock (the prof on my panel). I swear, that man gets around. Anyway, got her e-mail, so I can pick her brain. She was very very nice.

That was the last panel I attended on Thursday. Three out of the four girls (me included) went back to the hotel, fell asleep, woke up around 8pm, ordered pizza, talked til all hours, and went back to sleep.

Party animals aren't we?

Final installment to come. The final installment shall include all the weird and/or scandalous shit you've come to expect.

On TV: Raymond
Listening: Alison Krauss & Union Station..."Goodbye is All We Have"
Reading: A LOT!
In my head: Tension headache.

10 comments:

  1. Oh how I wish I could go to one of these things! It's like book heaven! *sigh*

    I really want to read Kissing the Witch.

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  2. Congrats on a good presentation!

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  3. It is heaven, Heather! You can be my date for the South Central Modern Language Association conference in October!

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  4. Knew you'd kick butt!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  5. Ya done good, Andi!

    Why are you reading The Curious Incident Blahblah? I just picked up a used copy of it.

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  6. Thanks, Suzz!

    I'm reading Curious Incident for a class. It's the book I'll probably end up guest-teaching in one of the undergrad courses.

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  7. I'm waiting on story about the hot PhD and the jello.

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  8. Next installment, Anti (or can I just call you Chuck?). ;)

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