Wrapped up my first ever RSA late this afternoon with a role on O.09 on textual machinery and the interrelationship of agency and automation. Good company, smart papers, and an alert, question-raising audience: what more can you ask for? My list of (entirely self-inflicted) concerns is short, but I left with the sense that I fumbled through parts of the Q&A. Nothing horribly embarrassing. Just rambly-schmambly, swing-and-miss kinds of half-answers. There was a lot of rich conversation during the Q&A, but, frankly, I would like to have do-over tokens for some of it. Another do-over: while I was giving my paper, I was so distracted by the fact of not having water at hand that I was focused on the moisture levels in my throat almost to the total neglect of what I was saying.
Once rested, maybe I can push on through a couple of blog entries that will make up for some of my loafing through it today: on the long tail of citation freq., on automation/agency rel. to colloids and compounds, on letting concepts get away from us (or being understood as if). Or not (like I really need to promise more phantom EWM entries?). For now, I will drain a Lazy Boy IPA to celebrate the end of the 07-08 conferencing tour and then look ahead to enjoying another two days of visiting with family before jetting back to CNY.
"Whether by intent or default, we have centralized in our conversations a default view of what can be sanctioned as good writing (as enacted often through a traditional view of the freshman essay), a view that has functioned ultimately to tether, rather than enable an evolving discussion" (24). Royster, "Academic Discourses or Small Boats on a Big Sea", Altdis.