Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A few peeves from Passenger Huge

I love to travel--in theory. Love the idea of getting away from my dirty house, demanding students, and pesky piles of papers and heading south toward sunshine, friends, and all the fun of an academic conference.

However, I'm not a fan of airport parking, airport security, airport food prices, or really anything about the airport itself, most especially the ticket agent's difficulty in pronouncing my name so that when the call goes out for "Passenger Huge," I have to step up and say "I think that's me." When it really isn't. Not at all.

And don't even get me started on my poor wardrobe choice. I remembered to wear slip-on shoes for ease at security, but I had no idea that a little lovely beading around the neckline of my blouse would look threatening to an airport x-ray machine. Yes: full pat-down in public just because I had to go with the beaded blouse.

And how hard did I have to work this week to clear the decks for this trip? I won't be back until Sunday evening but I didn't want to carry two bricklike Norton anthologies on the airplane, so I spent the first part of this week dealing with this week's work while also preparing next Monday's classes. Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, and fingers tap-tapping on the keyboard to cut my conference paper down to a presentable length.

I love academic conferences--in theory. Meeting of minds, exposure to new ideas, networking with interesting people inside and outside my field, plus a little time to see the sights. But in practice, I'm not a fan of working like a maniac to write a brilliant paper only to deliver it in a big room populated by an audience of two people. 

But I have high hopes for this conference. It's a small but devoted group and I'm presenting at a good time--and even if the conference is a flop, I'll still be in Florida. We had snow in Ohio yesterday and more in the forecast for tonight. I doubt that I'll encounter any snow in Florida. Instead, I'll have time for a brief visit with my parents and some relaxation with an old friend in a beautiful location. 

And best of all, I won't have to answer to "Passenger Huge."

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