Conference Notes

Here are the highs and lows of the first full day (for me) of the conference
in NYC:

  • Had a yogurt and a Vitamin Water from the 53rd Street Deli.
    Impressive place. Might stop back in there tomorrow for fresh sushi
    sometime in the afternoon.
  • Walked with Ph. to Times Square. Played PS3 for a few minutes at
    Toys-R-Us. Proof! that there is free entertainment in Manhattan
    (although free might soon be asterisked by yet-to-be-made purchases
    resulting from my rekindled interest in the PS3).
  • Attended an 8 a.m. session reporting on the National Research Council’s
    approval of "Rhetoric and Composition" as an emerging field.
  • Followed that with an informal meeting with a colleague from alma mater
    whom I hadn’t met before and who will be coordinating the U.’s writing
    curriculum with an eye on certain improvements.
  • Awoke early enough to check out the workout facilities here in the
    hotel. Learned that they wanted another 15 clams per day per person to
    use the equipment. I looked at the price sheet and mentioned that Ph.
    might be coming in later in the morning. "He’s only 16? You’ll have to
    accompany him in that case. And there will be another $15 fee added."
    A rush of frugality motored my legs hastily out of there. There’s
    nothing about the 30 minute workout I wanted this morning that was worth 15
    bucks. No-thing. And so my fitness slides. I had a slice of pizza for
    lunch just to spite the Hiltons and their elliptical scam.
  • Ph. and I walked over to the Empire State Building, lolled around the
    observation deck for 15 rain-soaked minutes. I asked the "host" how
    long the entire ob-deck-n-back trip would take, and he said 15 minutes.
    Forty minutes later we were on the elevator, heading up. Still, I’m
    glad we did it. Of course, standing on the observation deck at 1:30
    p.m. didn’t bode well for my chances of making it back to the conference (on
    foot, 34th St. to 53rd St.) in time for a 2:00 p.m. session. Made it by
  • And then there was a committee meeting from 3-4 p.m. related to CCCOA.
  • Phillip has been watching the Star Wars this evening. Return of the
    . Luke and Leia are brother and sister?, he just asked. In
    fact, they are.
  • Dinner (Chinese?) and NCAAs later. Plus a re-read of my talk for
  • Seems like I’m not seeing as many folks as I did last year. The
    hotel lobby feels more like triple-wide hallway to me. Not a lot of
    seating space to lounge around and make casual contact with old friends,
    bloggers, etc.


  1. Hi Derek,

    I’m at the conference even as I write this and hope to run into you tomorrow. I’m starting a grassroots campaign to figure out ways to make this convention more affordable for those of us who are not trust fund babies. Over at CCE someone suggested online conferencing, which I think is a great idea, though it implies that both attendee and attender know how to use the media.
    My less tech -intensive idea is to create a blog called “how to survive the next conference,” or something a bit less direct. It would be great to have one place to go find suggestions for frugal conferencing.

  2. Perfect. I like the idea of conferencing on the cheap, and it might be the very sort of thing that could be built with a wiki in coordination with the local arrangements folks.

    Year after year I’m especially interested in the affordable meals and sites that are in the vicinity of the conference hotel, and it takes a fair amount of research to locate such things.

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