Monday, April 7, 2008

CCCC Recap

Digging through notes and receipts (expense report style):

  • Out of sixteen time slots with sessions, I attended eight panels, including my own. Spread across those panels and also the Opening General Session, I listened to 26 talks.
  • Twelve of those talks were accompanied by something visual beyond the person presenting (i.e., a slideshow, an overhead).
  • 5/26 provided a handout. Just one dealt in both: a handout and a PPT.
  • Some of the slideshows were what Garr Reynolds calls "slideuments" (text-heavy rather than letting the visuals be picturesque). Just one of the slideshows was, at the last minute, withheld from the audience, even though the presenter continued to look at it and describe for us what we weren't seeing because a projector wasn't available.
  • Out of those 26 presenters, fourteen were people I'd met before, and I would describe several among them as friends. None of the eight panels consisted entirely of people I hadn't met.
  • I ate lunch or dinner with someone from each of the following institutions: Wisconsin, Western Illinois, Syracuse, Purdue, Pepperdine, Missouri, Saginaw Valley State, Duke, and North Carolina. I was alone for every breakfast in New Orleans; every lunch and dinner was with one or more people. On the shuttle rides to and from the N.O. airport, I chatted with conference goers from Minnesota State, California-Santa Barbara, and Kent State.
  • Bloggers I finally met: George, Dan, Michael, and Cheryl.
  • I had coffee, Coke, and Bedford h'ors doeurves with folks from my MA program (some of whom are now elsewhere, such as Ohio State or Western Carolina).
  • The cheapest meal I enjoyed was $7.87; the most expensive, even if the food wasn't especially titillating, cost considerably more.

There were many highlights, good conversations, etc. As for my own talk and presentation, I was, as I have already said, pleased with the turnout and also with the unplanned synch of the presentations. I was also happy that I stuck with one small gamble: whether or not I would be able, upon arriving in N.O., to find and photograph the apartment buildings that grace the cover of Stewart Brand's book How Buildings Learn. I could have gotten by with out this reference, and I had been warned that it might seem as though I'd written my paper while at the conference if I included a day-before photo of those buildings at 822 St. Charles Ave. But I went ahead with it, even scripted my talk so that the paragraphs where the buildings came up could be trimmed at the last minute without the rest of the spiel folding in on itself--in case the buildings were not there or a photograph was not possible. Here are the images, first of Brand's cover, and then of the same buildings on Thursday morning, just before 8 a.m.

How Buildings Learn

How Conference Presentations Learn

I have a few more photos to post, and a small bundle of uneven notes to sift through before deciding whether there's anything more to post about the conference. I'm sure I'll get those photos up, at the very least, and also engage the question grounding C.15: Where's the "rhetoric"?--a question that resonates for me with a couple of thoughts on the Where are the numbers? puzzle (Where is rhetoric? Wherever you left it.) and also on the (inter)relationship of rhetoric and composition as gestalt.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at April 7, 2008 3:20 PM to Unspecified

I'm so glad you chose to post this recent pic of the buildings. And you're right! The changes in the trees are quite noticeable. In fact, I never paid attention to the "wounded tree" on the '93 cover. Is it just me or in the past 15 years, have the buildings accelerated their adaptive behavior?

Posted by: Richard at April 9, 2008 12:31 AM

I'd noticed the leaner on the cover, but when I walked by the buildings on Thursday morning the comparative growth of the three trees filled in a gap--explained, in other words, that the damaged tree did not survive.

I don't know whether the buildings have changed rapidly over the past 15 years. It was clear to me last week that their reconstruction was a high priority relative to the idle surrounds (no work being done anywhere else up or down St. Charles Ave.). In the image from '93, both buildings appear to have boarded enclosures, so it's hard to say what their lives have been like in the intervening 15 years. They certainly have changed and were undergoing more change as recently as last week.

Posted by: Derek at April 9, 2008 8:38 PM