S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Friday at the 'zoo

After breakfast with Cornellians and a Brown student, I went to Jan Ziolkowski's plenary. I knew from past experience that he's an amazing speaker: funny, entertaining, erudite, and well-spoken. A third of his talk was pseudo-society-like, the rest was supported by references provided in full with a finely-printed eight-page handout. Despite my lassitude from marginally less sleep than I would have liked, he was easy to listen to. Afterwards, a chocolate-chip coated chocolate doughnut tided me through the morning session.

I went to the DISTAFF session on textile trade, which was delightful - if nothing else, I now know of the trade of the friperers. Friperers were secondhand clothing salesfolk, a thriving trade in an era where clothing was so much more of a major investment. I would love to know more about them.

After the Avista board meeting, a wrangle of planning, I was distracted from my afternoon's intended session but a multitude of discussions and conversations. I meant to make it to the bookroom, but spent too much time in conversation to make it there. Still, in the process, I caught up with old friends, acquired a list of people in cognate fields to contact about London jobs or volunteer work, and sketched out a roundtable session for next year's Kalamazoo with juniperus.

Fourteen of us ate dinner in a caverous barn of a building (the Firehouse Bar and Grill); only five of the group did not have a weblog to the best of my knowledge, sursamajor being the most recent to join the hordes online. I ate a dull taco salad and stole fries from everyone else after inadvertantly insulting the venue to the waitress.

I made it back to campus in time to intercept part of the York reception. I'd already had a good chat with Mark Ormrod earlier in the day, so joined griffinick in getting to know Linn Mooney, J.B.'s mother, and newest professor of Medieval paleography at York! I also met Nicola MacDonald, who was at Toronto before I was, has taught at York since shortly after I left, and is currently advising my Smith/York/Toronto correspondant, who I met over Christmas. Medieval academia is a very small place, you see.

Despite all the enthralling conversations and pleasant meetings, the real highlights of my days were moments which marked my increasing establishment in my field: I'm now on the board of directors of Avista, and was invited to give a talk during this coming academic year. Perhaps someday - even someday soon - committee work and talks may seem mundane to me. These are my first of each, and I am thrilled.
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