Friday, May 09, 2008

Blogging K'zoo 2008 (Part II)

OK, the afternoon was much better. This time, I actually got to a session, "Death and Desire in Middle English." The three papers were all good and interesting, but I'm afraid I got Wilkie Collins in trouble by asking him a question about the Hebraic influence of Job and the Hellenic influence of Boethius on The Pearl. His answer greatly displeased someone there, and some hard-toned words were exchanged.* Wilkie Collins, by the way, was right.

After that, I went to a wine-swilling session, and I was accosted by at least a half dozen people (and no, I'm not exaggerating about the number) who demanded to know why I didn't come to their session. Yes, I should have come to your session, I should have been at all of your sessions, but without some rip in space/time, that wasn't possible. I went to the session I went to because a.) I was interested in the subject matter, b.) I knew a lot of people I like would be at the session, c.) I was personally invited by phone 15 minutes beforehand, and d.) It happened to be in the same room as my session tomorrow, and so I wanted to see the size and layout.

Please note that none of the above reasons involve "because I wanted to offend my friends and colleagues in other sessions!" Besides, you know full well that all I would do is make smart-alecky comments and bad puns while you were speaking ... or perhaps that's why you wanted me to come in the first place?

So, what about tomorrow? I've got an actual choice in my 10AM session, but the rest of the day is booked solid. And for all you people who were outraged that I didn't attend your session, let's see if you show up at mine, 3:30 in Bernhard 213!

Anyway, after the wine-swilling, I spent the evening chatting with bloggy-type medievalists. Though I mention them a lot here, I'm actually splitting my time among three groups:
  1. Arthurians
  2. Bloggers
  3. International Medievalists
Today was mostly Arthurian. I'll probably try to head out to the coffee shop tomorrow morning to see if there's another impromptu blogger meet-up, followed by a day of sessions with bloggy-types, followed by a late dinner with the international folks. I'll then head off to the dance to see if I can meet all those people I somehow missed -- and you people know who you are!

By the way, for those who are obsessive internet checkers, I'm still on CST in my head, so it's only 8:30 to me. I just came back to my room to do some last-minute paper-checking and whatnot. Feel free to call me on my cell phone if you still want to get together for drinks tonight. Don't worry, you won't wake me up; I'll just turn off my phone when I want to go to sleep.

* Confession: I tried to sound contrite about causing the above strife, but honestly it was the best part of the session. A little fireworks is always fun, as long as it doesn't spill over too much. Also, I cracked up a woman in the audience when one of the scholars was introduced as being "in his last year of graduate school," I whispered "That's what he thinks." If you gather from all this that I'm a little scoundrel causing trouble in the sessions I attend -- well, I'm not sure I can contradict that.

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