March 13th, 2004

Fishy Circumstances

It's all in the details

I spend much of yesterday evening remembering why I like being in academia. I met all sorts of interesting, influential people, many of whom knew friends of mine at other universities. One even knew my best friend from high school. We talked about the minutia of our common field, about the things we have in common. At the end, a few of us agreed that, in graduate school so far, we haven't spent nearly enough time talking about our work and our field, not nearly enough time bonding over manuscripts not looked at for homework, and the academic books we've read for pleasure. The geekery of the profession is something we have in common, and that's a good thing. It reminds me of why I like going to conferences.
Fishy Circumstances


A few of the assorted things I learned today...

* Wax tablets were dyed green in the middle ages and were replaced when the wax absorbed enough dirt to make it stiff and black.

* Pedlers sold both knives and styluses.

* Dartmouth and Plymouth were ports handling a bigger volume of trade, both cargo and pilgramage, with the continent than the eastern ports were during the later parts of the Hundred Years War.

* Many confraternities had large numbers of female members.

* Domestic and imported birds were for sale in front of Notre Dame.
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