Archive for April, 2017

Conference, conference, conference, garden

April 30, 2017

I’ve been a busy academic lately. A week ago, my university hosted the spring conference for the Historical Association that I’ve been an officer of for the past couple of years. As local host, it was my responsibility to coordinate session rooms, catering, meeting spaces, and other practical details. I’ve been working on those practicalities since last summer and it was very gratifying to see everything come together. The conference went off almost without a hitch (there was a little last minute confusion in room booking, but we got it sorted out) and people seemed to be having a good time, so I’ll call that a success.

Also at the conference I was elected vice president of the Association for next year. The vice president’s job is to organize the conference panels. I didn’t have to do that as local host, I just found spaces for the panels to meet in. So, next year, I won’t have to wrangle session rooms and catering, but I’ll be collecting paper submissions and assembling panels for both the fall and spring conferences.

The Association’s custom is that after one year as vice president, you become president for a year, so I have that to look forward to. The president’s job is mostly ceremonial—giving a short address at lunchtime at the conference. I look forward to that. (And it will look nice on a CV.)

In other academic news, I just had a proposal accepted to a conference in Edinburgh this December, so I’ll be making a quick trip across the pond.

Somehow, in the midst of all this academicking, I’ve also fond time to plant my garden. I’m trying corn, green beans, and cucumber this summer. I’ve tried various setups with deer netting to try to keep critters out of the garden in the past, and now that I’m giving corn a shot, I know that I need something a little more serious, so here’s the frame I built for this year.

Congressfolks

April 14, 2017

We’ve been to a couple more “town hall” meetings in the past week, one with our Representative and one with one of our Senators. Both were very well attended, with crowds of several hundred who filled up the spaces. At both events, the crowds were energetic and positive, full of motivation and passion. At the event with our Representative, a couple of hecklers at the back of the room tried to start chants of “USA” and the current president’s name, but the rest of the crowd hushed them up. Our Rep even took a question from one of them (a rambling, incoherent “question” full of Islamophobia and anti-immigrant hate), which he handled seriously and graciously.

It’s still hard living in these times, but I continue to be heartened to know that we have people like them in Washington working for us, and to see how strong the support for them is locally.

Suddenly summer

April 11, 2017

Two days ago we had snow in the back yard and I was wearing long johns, wool socks, a turtleneck, and a sweater.
Today it’s 85 F outside and I had to dig out my shorts and sandals.
We’ve had the windows open letting the warm air in and it’s lovely, but it’s also a bit of a shock to the system.