27 March 2006

Leslie the Academic Rock Star’s Spring Tour: Show 1

Before you get too carried away with the Rock Star title and start asking for my autograph, let me assure you that it’s just dreaming. I’m still a lowly grad student who is paying to attend two conferences in as many weekends, yammering about sections of her dissertation and just hoping that she (a) gets a question and (b) can answer that question. In the first round, I headed to Florida. I had visions of escaping the real work to hit an outdoor café to enjoy some time in warm weather, but really, I was lucky to get a mediocre latte in the hotel and scrub the dirt off a table by the pool. Oh well, at least there was a pool.

As far as business goes, the paper was read. There was discussion. I wasn’t laughed at or given a book contract on the spot. Eh. It was a conference.

However, there were some bright spots to my travels. Despite my lack of posting to the 20 Things list, I have been thinking of them. They’re posted on the fridge and give me a chuckle when I think about wearing a two-piece in public. Yeah, not gonna happen. But besides comic value, they are a good reminder of things I want and need to do in the next few months. One of those goals was to attend a conference and do the networking, participation scene rather than hiding in the hotel room with knitting and Law & Order. Well, give me a checkmark. I was engaged. I asked questions. I got business cards. I even had a moment where I wished I had business cards. Of course those cards would have to be little slips of paper that I cut out after hand-writing “grad student in need of tenure-track job” under my name, but they’d still be cool to give out. I exchanged resources and discussed job market tips. I heard about how to publish and how to pursue teaching jobs. All in all, I did it. I was right there in the thick of things and actually enjoyed it.

Maybe I’m an academic after all.

I’m not sure if this is a good thing to admit on a knitting blog, but in four days, this was all that I accomplished. Yes, I started a new project but I needed to meet all the requirements of airline security (bamboo needles) and Leslie’s travel knitting philosophy (small, portable, not requiring a fully-functioning brain, able to fit into a Ziploc bag, not completely destroyed by inevitable latte drips that seem to defeat said Ziploc bag). It’s version 2.0 of the lacy openwork scarf in alpaca. (Faithful readers will remember version 1.0 which currently resides in England after the International Scarf Exchange.) There will be full project coverage once I finish the post-travel re-entry routine around here. Basically, I need to wash underwear and write a paper for Rock Star Tour: Part 2.

Yes, I'm using Tristram Shandy and a book of criticism to stretch out my lace knitting for the picture. This whole academic thing may be going a wee bit too far.

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