Friday, 7 August 2009

SSSP Day 2 (Post Paper Analysis)

I'm trying through my entries on the SSSP conference to reveal something of the "private academic" beyond the student classroom based construction of the academic. This morning pretty much covers a lot of ground! So, as I've indicated on twitter etc, this morning was my paper. 8.30am, around 13 people in the audience so fairly quiet, but these sort of presentations help to get my ideas out there and prepare the ground for projects such as the publication of my book on public sex next year. the more people who have at least heard my name, let alone seen me speak, the better for getting that text noticed in North America.

So I head down. I'm staying in the conference hotel so it's pretty straight forward but because it's held on several floors the whole lift system kinda collapsed (not literally) with long waits to get a lift heading in the right direction. So I get down (having registered, picked my pack up and found the room I'd be delivering my paper in a little earlier). I go in the room, meet one of my fellow panellists and see there's a projector but no laptop. A little irritating as I thought there would be one but not an issue - I'd go get mine in my room so off I go. Wait at the lift, OK now cutting it a little tight but not an issue. Get back to my room, go to the safe to retrieve my laptop and what do I get but "error 90". I had no notes for my presentation, just my slides and what's in my head. So I go to the phone, look for the reception button, there isn't one. I look int he hotel handbook, no number. I phone the concierge, not on 'till 10. It's now after 8.30 and I'm stressed. I'm shouting a lot of abuse at no-one in particular realising that if I head down to try and physically find someone at reception I might be even later. I remember seeing a maid in the corridor so I go running (yes really, I ran. lol) down the corridor, coming across like a maniac to a woman whose grasp of English is tenuous. She fly's into a similar panic, but bless the amazing woman, calls for an engineer. He comes, he can't get it to open with his magic code breaking thing. I'm now nearly 30mins late. This is not good. He calls for another engineer to pull my desk apart to get into the safe. Then, the thing randomly opens. Retrieve my laptop, run back to the lift. Wait. Wait some more. Get down, run to the room, realise I can't open the door. Lots of banging. my saying "fuck fuck" under my breath.

Burst in (literally), and attempt to sit quietly at the back. So I get up and give my presentation when my turn and by now I'd recovered my composure but my thoughts were pretty fluid. Amazingly, the adrenalin seemed to really make me buzz and it seemed t go amazingly well. Couple of people wanted references for my work on the area so I swapped email.

Got chatting to this really quite attractive guy about research and stuff in general and we ended up sat outside the room talking for a good while (maybe half an hour, maybe more) and decided to go for a drink. He was telling me about his research, his life, sex, all sorts. Lots of physical contact which is well, not that common (and I'm really not tactile with people I know, let alone strangers). We head out to find a coffee store, hes from SF but not that well up on Nob Hill and he wondered why I hadn't stayed at a more "interesting" hotel in the Castro or SOMA. Anyway, we went over, talked some more, headed back to the hotel, hugged (that doesn't normally happen) and arranged to meet tonight (you were worried where that was going for a minute wheren't you). He has a bf so don't read too much into things!

So pretty crazy morning. Off to some panels this afternoon on 'coming out experiences and non-heterosexual identities'. There's then some social justice and pedagogy themed sessions over the weekend that fit with what we're trying to develop at Sunderland so should be interesting. I'm feeling very happy and extremely privileged.

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