Saturday, January 06, 2007

AHA - Saturday Notes

I *love* a southern breakfast. I've noticed that everyone north of Virginia and west of Louisiana thinks of breakfast as a danish or bagel or cold cereal type of affair. At the 'Le Cafe' in Atlanta's Hilton hotel, however, they were serving a southern breakfast buffet that included bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy, grits, and potatoes. I was in heaven, until I got the $15.00 breakfast bill.

There are way too few chairs in the lobby of Hilton and Marriott. I saw a ton of people leaning all day. People leaned against walls, against big planters, on pillars, and anything else that wasn't moving. I finally scouted out a couch on the fourth floor hidden behind the elevators where I could sit and read in between sessions.

There should be some sort of warning in the Marriott that there are at least 2 lobbies. I was suppose to meet my major professor at 11 a.m. and she never showed. I found out later that the little lobby area on the ground level across from the Hilton WAS NOT the main lobby of the hotel, instead the main lobby was two stories higher!

I participated in a focus group about textbooks and basically argued for a textbook that worked like Wikipedia, but with accurate information. I don't think anyone was very impressed with my suggestion.

The only session I attended today was one on balancing work and family. The panelists made a big deal about trying to go beyond stories or anecdotes about the difficulties of raising children, etc. while being a full-time faculty member and instead tried to present some concrete suggestions for ways that individuals could build coalitions on their campuses and organize for family friendly policies. Most of the suggestions were ideas that would make it easier for women and men to meet their family responsibilities and their work responsibilities. What I didn't hear was any demand for a reconceptionalization of what it means to be a productive faculty member. Why is there never any discussion about the norm of a faculty member is a 60 hour work week for the 15+ weeks of the semester and then spending an unpaid summers doing research so that he or she can get tenure, promoted, or raises?

Is it just me or is alcohol in Atlanta extremely expensive? I had to pay 6.00 for a draft mug of Bud Light! Pitchers (of slightly better beer) cost $17.00! It almost made me want to go back to grad. school where for a $3 cover, I could get a pitcher for $5. I think we should demand that the AHA start planning to hold its conventions in college towns so that cheap beer is easily attainable.

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