The conference gets less and more mysterious

Let me first be very clear: this mystery conference in Jacksonville has actually turned out to be a pretty good thing. I went to some good panels this morning and this afternoon, I had some nice chats with various folks, mostly from the community college world, my presentation went pretty well, and I got to catch up a bit with at least one friendly face I recognized from the computers and writing conference world. So it has been a much better conference than I had expected, and I am looking forward to some of the sessions tomorrow.

But it has still been kind of weird.

First off, the sessions this morning that I attended had some pretty small audiences– which is fine, frankly. That’s typical for academic conferences, and I just kind of assumed this is kind of a small conference overall. But when I went to the luncheon banquet, I was rather surprised to see a rather large ballroom with somewhere around 800 or so people in it, complete with a big dais of distinguished people. It was odd; I was just wondering where the heck all these people came from.

Then there was the mini-monolith. Before the keynote speech by Marc Prensky (the first 20 minutes of which were pretty good; the second 20 minutes which were kinda problematic; and the last 20 minutes of which were probably unnecessary), they announced the awards for the conference. Now, one of the reasons I was sent by folks at EMU to this conference in the first place was that I was the EMU nominee for an “Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology.” So I knew I was going to get something, and I also knew that there was 40 or so other winners. But I wasn’t expecting this:

Mini-monolith 1

Mini-Monolith 2

This trophy is pretty cool, but it seems rather dangerous. It’s made out of marble, it’s about eight and half inches high and about three and a half inches in circumference, it is cut so it has a rather sharp point at top, and has got to weigh 10 pounds. Gian Pagnucci (a fellow winner, btw) and I were talking at dinner about this, and we both seriously wondered if you could actually take this thing onto an airplane in carry-on luggage. I mean, I have no doubt that you could most definitely brain someone with this thing if you really wanted to. I’m a little worried about what kind of damage it’s liable to cause in my checked suitcase.

Well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Tomorrow, more mysteries await.

This entry was posted in Academia, Sabbatical Lite, Scholarship, Teaching, Technology, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The conference gets less and more mysterious

  1. Andre says:

    I think you made the award yourself so you could smuggle it on to a plane and take over.


  2. Congrats Steve! Now you have something to throw back at Andy Federer.

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