Packing for a conference: Notes to my future self

One of the funniest things about the conference I’m currently attending–which, I should add, is jam-packed with academic goodness–is that there are a pretty limited number of flights to the conference city, and so the last couple of days have featured planes full of academics.  And one thing I noticed is that I seem to bring more than many others.  Reviewing the contents of my bags, I see:

  • 60 exams to grade
  • A short-story collection & collection of novellas by the author I’ve just interviewed, so that I can write up the feature-length story
  • The text I’m prepping for next week’s Honors class
  • The next two novels that I’m reviewing for PopMatters
  • Studies on Hysteria, which is the subject of my next PsychoSlut column

Perhaps I overpacked?  Even factoring in the 13 hours of travel time each way?

Meanwhile, what did I do last night?  Fell asleep at 5pm, woke up at 1am, and then went back to sleep until 4.30am, which my body interpreted as 7.30am.

And here’s the thing: The only thing I *ever* get done at conferences is sleep.  (Aside from conference-related stuff . . . paper-finishing, and the lot.) As long as we have a small child at home, all I’ll ever get done at conferences is sleep.

So, self, in the future: STOP PACKING ALL THIS STUFF YOU CAN’T DO!!  You’ll just feel guilty, and, besides, you need to sleep.

Bah.  If you want to see *one* thing I got done today, click here for the weekly Blog of a Bookslut post.  Ooh–and I got my beta invite for Sandy, the virtual e-mail assistant from the values of n people.  And, I guess, I wrote this whiny blog post.

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4 Responses to Packing for a conference: Notes to my future self

  1. Trying to get my everyone’s-at-NAVSA-but-me envy out of the way long enough to type – you’re definitely not the only one who takes far, far too much to conferences. I always interpret ‘travel time’ as ‘uninterrupted, peaceful time to spend being productive’, which doesn’t make for a good start in terms of realistic planning.

  2. jbj says:

    That’s exactly my problem: I look at that 5 hour flight and think I’ll be perfectly productive. Not so much.

    I can read novels just fine, but I don’t much like grading or writing on planes.

    (And NAVSA will be nearer your home turf in 2 years, no? And somewhat nearer next year.)

  3. Where will the Michel Faber interview appear? He was a regular on the Victoria listserv for a while–I guess while he was working on ‘The Crimson Petal and the White.’

    Lucky you, going to Victoria. But I never have conference envy (except for the sleeping part, about which you are perfectly right!).

  4. jbj says:

    Hi, Rohan–it’ll come out on PopMatters. I’ll have a link as soon as it appears.

    Victoria was pretty grand–the conference, the sleep, and the weather!

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