Saturday, November 18, 2006

So many conferences...

Lanette's post about the NCTE reminded me that it was going on this week, along with NCA (where some other bloggers have been).

I've never been to either of these conferences, despite being a member of NCTE for something like 14 years and despite thinking for the past seven or so that *this* year I really am going to submit a proposal to NCA.

But, really, how many conferences can a person go to? There's the issue of travel money, which is limited. But even beyond that, there's the issue of time: if I go to a conference, I want to present (CCCC is about the only conference I go to when not presenting). But how many papers do I really want to give in a year? Seems like some years I've given papers at up to four or five conferences, which ends up seeming like too many. These days, I'm going to about two (always CCCC; last year, I added RSA; this year, I'm planning to go to Computers & Writing.)

What I learned from going to RSA for only the second time ever is that it's certainly worthwhile to change up your conferences. There's one conference I've been to multiple times (and which shall remain nameless), and that I just kept going to, even though I found myself often disappointed. Last year, I let it go, knowing that I wanted to go to RSA and that I didn't want to go to three conferences. And, guess what? RSA was not disappointing. So I really should try out a new conference every year or so--keep things fresh.

Well, I suppose I could ramble on here for awhile more about conferences, but it doesn't seem as if I'm really getting to much of a point. Just talking. So I'll sign off.

[But wait! I should add that this post is also something of an answer to John's question below, about why I've never been to the M/MLA, even though he's put together rhet/comp panels for the past several years. And, there again, that's a conference I've often contemplated (in fact, I'm pretty sure at some point I've contemplated responding to one of John's CFPs). It was even in Milwaukee one year, for crying out loud. And even that didn't force my hand.]

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