CCCC 2009

Recent trip #1: to San Francisco for CCCC 2009. I booked a quick trip: Wed PM to Sat noon. On the one hand, I wish I’d stayed Saturday night. On the other, I didn’t want to be away from the girls any longer than I had to, and with more travel coming up, it was wise to get back to Illinois when I did. Bullets:

  • I picked sessions poorly. I attended one real stinker and a smattering of presentations which were run of the mill. Only a few good ones.
  • Some of the “presentation” materials were shockingly bad. At one session, the presenter brought only 15 handouts. More than fifty people showed up. I saw too many transparencies which were clearly never tested, and completely illegible. Ugh. Bring your A game, folks!
  • Christian Weisser and Sid Dobrin’s special session on rethinking ecocriticism (and writing studies as a whole, really) was well-done. I’m looking forward to Sid’s book.
  • Nice work on web sites and crisis by Jenny Bay. Awful moderator, though, who let the first presenter ramble on–then truncated two talks which were far superior.
  • Amy Patrick was a fine travel partner. We drove to and from St Louis to hook a non-stop flight. That was worth getting up at 3:30am Weds and not getting home until midnight Saturday. (Note to self: pay the five bucks for a water bottle once you get past security.) The Adante Hotel was cheap and solid, though the coffee was unusually bad.
  • The IP caucus was pretty productive. I had a good talk with Kim Gainer about fair use and public reaction (blogs, messaging) to the Harry Potter Lexicon case, which I see as representative of common misconceptions about fair use.
  • The Open Source SIG was even better, because we agreed to end the SIG and work under the IP Caucus umbrella.
  • It was good to see Joe Weinberg and hear him deliver a sharp presentation based on his thesis–though I didn’t care for the discussion, which was mostly folks sharing “what I do in my classroom.”
  • Good conversations with the Composition Forum crew. We’ve got a nice agenda for the rest of the year. I’ll break that out separately.
  • Also enjoyed sitting down for breakfast with John Ronan, running with Bump Halbritter, wandering the city by myself, and chasing good beer at Magnolia, 21st Amendment and Toronado with Jeff. Toronado was simply amazing. Great beers, most four bucks a pint. On a Wednesday night, it was packed. Jeff and I stood for a while, then spied an emptying table the same time as two other guys. We quickly introduced ourselves, invited them to join us, and talked about beer, ridiculous housing costs in the Bay area, etc. Back to the hotel bar, the best was Anchor Steam for seven bucks. Rather than spoil the taste of Pliny the Elder, I went to bed.
  • So. Much. Seafood. Every dinner for me. Fish and chips at Magnolia. Lovely ceviche then broiled butterfish at a Mexican place. Fish sandwiches. Shrimp. Didn’t make it to Chinatown for dim sum, though.
  • The day I presented, I attended three panels with one or more no-shows. One of my co-presenters didn’t show up–and didn’t contact me. I’m disappointed about this, obviously.
  • After my solo session Friday afternoon, I walked to Adaptive Path for Friday afternoon drinks. I met Rebecca and got a tour of the AP’s well-designed offices/studios/collaboratory from Jesse, then had dinner at Tadich Grill for dinner (broiled Pacific snapper: outstanding). Definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
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