Monthly Archives: March 2013

My first ACDA…

Yes, it’s happening. I’m going to that lovely warm place in that scary red state next week to attend my first-ever national conference. This is going to be weird for me…I’ve been in my other professional organization so long that I’m on the planning meetings and council, I know everybody, and I’m one of the ones whose name is recognized from my nametag. I sign books. I answer questions. ¬†I help the forlorn to be less so. I go drinking with the “famous” people. People schmooze¬†me.

And now? Here? I’m the lowly grad student who knows no one. I don’t know how things work, which sessions are important to attend and which are not, which people are important to know and which are not, whom it is okay to walk up and speak to and who is not…I was very briefly at a regional last year, where I met a few folks, but even so it was much higher powered and less casual than my other group.

Me being me, with absolutely no native social skills on my own, I’m perusing the web for suggestions…for instance, the post on “How to hack a conference,” which looks intelligent, and of course The Professor has her usual font of wisdom. It’s pretty basic stuff, actually, just the don’t look like a grad student, don’t hide in your hotel room, you learn the best stuff listening to conversations in lines and in the exhibit halls, that kind of info. Which I guess I knew. And I’ve asked a couple of friends, who have yet to get back to me…

We’ll see how it goes. It will be humbling, that’s for sure…