Monday, November 16, 2009

128. NCA 2009: The Narrative

I am back from a good NCA -- personally and professionally engaging.

1. The Departure: Complicated, because my wife had an emergency consult with a neurosurgeon. Like, our GP said "do not pass go -- go straight to neurosurgeon." It was crazy. I'm used to medicine as a slow-moving beast, not that fast. But KVTB opted against surgery. Juli, our good friend, took her to get shots to relieve the inflammation in her back, then (less good) took her to a bar, where she sat on a stool for a while, probably undoing some of the benefit of the anti-inflammatory.

Kate is going to be on her back for a while. Email her, and think about visiting in our open house coming up.

2. The Drive: Leaving already after dark, we got to Eau Claire, ate Culvers, then made it as far as Milwaukee. Crashed at Mom's, then drove to airport. Left car at airport train station ($5/day -- a steal!) and Amtrakked into Chicago. Very relaxing. Walked behind my long-legged colleague, David Gore, to the Palmer House, where I gave a paper on a panel with Keith, Gross and Newman. It worked well; Jeff Walker and Dale Sullivan were there, amid a sizaeble audience for an 8am panel on the first day of the conference.

3. General Semantics Panel also hopping. Which is odd. There is so much value to the tradition that starts with Russell and ends with Postman with Korzybski as the lynchpin, but it remains "outside."

4. Bought many books at book exhibit. Yay!

5. Attended ASHR meeting. Richard read from the anthology that Dr. Enos and I pulld together, while Dr. Bruss referenced my awesome ASHR website (the design is improved, but the content core is still there) as being useful tools. The session was recorded for NCA, so my name is set for posterity.

6. Graham Cracker Comics is awesome.

7. Dinner at McDonald's in Chicago, also awesome. "Make it a dozen" at Dunkin Donuts for an extra $2? Awesome.

8. Drinks with Bill Keith and friends, awesome; chatting with Sara N. back in the room, double-awesome.

9. Standing room only for the panel on the midcentury therapeutic turn (even Steve Mailloux had to stand!) -- awesome. Bill Keith and Ron Greene knocked it outta the park.

10. Chatting with one of Bill's students and making the connection to a writing possibility or three: double-awesome. Chatting with Erin: also cool.

11. ASHR board meeting -- strangely, also awesome.

12. Dinner with college crush: pleasant. I approve of her husband, which is a major first step. >wink<

13. Nice to run into Greg, Erin and the RSTC contingent en route to Gage.

14. Sleep well-received.

15. AM "Wandering Scholar" session -- these things are under-rated. I learned as much about the state of the field as I would in a year's worth of journals, I met colleagues from Milwaukee, and I argued productively with several scholars in the field of listening.

16. Train to Milwaukee, then drive to Madison, Westfield comics, then the Dells for David G.'s next getaway, then intense argumentation, then home.

Systematic reflection to follow.

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