Jacobson Symposium, 2006: the prelude and rethinking the CCCCs again

It’s been a fine day before the Jacobson Conference at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. I’ve been trying to be kind of modest about this, but I’m actually the keynote speaker for it this year. I’m honored to do it– I hope I don’t screw up too bad.

I’m going to be talking about blogs– a slightly different definition of what they might be, about how MySpace is kinda dumb, about “blogs gone bad,” and about how blogs can work to teach writing. I’ll post a link to a web site for my spiel soon.

The conference is pretty small– about 50 or so folks– and it’s organized by Bob Whipple, who is a professor here, the Jacobson Chair in Communication, and a long-time computers and writing kinda guy. In the course of talking this afternoon, I think we figured out that we’ve known each other via the computers and writing conference or mailing lists for about 10 or so years now.

Anyway, it’s been a good time so far. Dr. Whipple showed me around campus, introduced me to many fine folks, we figured out how to make the computer stuff work (I was having some weird problem with a lot of the images in my powerpoint presenation, which I had burned to a CD, showing up on a Windoze computer– makes me glad I brought my monitor adapter so I can just hook up my laptop to the lcd projector), and then back to the hotel. After some afternoon reworking my presentation, catching up on school stuff, and doing a little shopping, Bob took me to dinner at Omaha’s legendary Bohemian Cafe, a Czech family restaurant that’s been around since 1924- great food and good campy fun.

One other thing I’ll mention, and this has been on my mind lately since there has been some discussion on the WPA-L mailing list about the CCCCs being so expensive: maybe they ought to have that conference in a town like Omaha.

Okay, okay, Omaha isn’t quite the tourist destination of Chicago or New York or San Francisco, and I don’t really know how easy it is for most people to fly in (it’s a pretty small airport). But I know there’s a big huge convention center here, plenty of hotels downtown, and a pretty neat little tourist-type area called Old Market.

To top it all off, the hotel I’m staying at is pretty sweet. There’s high speed internet access in the room, and even free printing through a service called PrinterOn. And I am quite sure this is quite a bit cheaper than the Palmer House.

I guess I’m suggesting that maybe the CCCCs organizers ought to rethink some of the future locations of the conference, and I think that perhaps they ought to think of some “mid-sized” and slightly out of the way towns like Omaha. I like going to fancy cities and doing fancy things as much as the next guy, but it’s also nice to have conferences in towns where people in the field (and composition and rhetoric folks are not generally blessed with enormous expense accounts) can actually afford to attend.

Just a thought. And I hear they have good steak here, too.

3 thoughts on “Jacobson Symposium, 2006: the prelude and rethinking the CCCCs again”

  1. I’m with you on the expensive city thing Steve. It would be nice if maybe one year it was a SF, NY, Chicago sort of city and then maybe someplace a little less expensive. I was just in Indianpolis and my room was only $80 a night before taxes, and that’s at the Mariott the week of the final four. Even a city such as Spokane could host a reasonably priced C’s and people could stay in a rather posh place for little more than $100 a night and a nice place for a lot less. Heck, if we can host NCAA regional tournaments and the US Figure Skating Championships, we must have the hotel rooms. We even had a brand new convention center coming online in the next few months or so. There have to be plenty of other cities of this sort that can swing it. As long as they have an international airport, that should do it for most travellers. It might do some of the C’s folks good to see a few more, less “exotic” parts of the country as well since a lot of them will end up working in those sorts of places. But I’m not volunteering, not for nothin’.

  2. just read this entry–thanks, steve. and Omaha is not the place to be in March if you want it to be guaranteed warm. It can be in the 60s, or it can be in the teens, in march around here.

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