Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crystal's Perspective on the AWP Conference

After I updated all my friend details for friends on Facebook (that's 218 people, and yes I had it down to 100 but I gave up... too many people know me) my dearest cousin Sydnie reminded me I hadn't yet posted about Chicago. So here I am, posting.

Wednesday was a pretty crappy day. I woke up to it absolutely pouring outside, so I decided to drive my stuff down to the South Annex. I did so, and asked Ron where I could park my car without getting a ticket, and he said in front of the fleet, and that he was emailing Security about whose car was there and everything so they wouldn't give us tickets. So I parked in front of the fleet and went to the library to check my email before German. I got an email from Amy Price saying I needed to fill out some paperwork so I can be rehired as an RA. I figured I might as well do that before German and went back to my parking space (it was raining horizontally by this point) and what do I find when I get to my car? A ticket. Sighing, I went to Residence Life and filled out my paperwork and figured it'd probably be best for me to drive to the Parking Office and take care of my ticket, despite the fact that this would make me miss German. I went to the Parking Office, where the lady very offhandedly told me to fill out an appeal form. I was peeved, but I filled it out anyway. I then went to park my car back by my apartment, on the way realizing that I hadn't turned in my paper for Kearns' class; it was in the South Annex. I thought about printing off another copy when I got to my apartment, but then I realized that my laptop was -also- in the South Annex, so I'd have to go back anyway. I parked my car, hopped on the bus, soaking wet, and went back to campus. I decided that I should try to take my Research Methods and Statistics I test early before I went to turn in my paper, but Dr. Schuster had some stuff to do so I couldn't really do that. I went down to the SA and grabbed my paper and went to turn it in. I glanced at the paper and realized I had titled it "Paper One." Thank you, Crystal, for being a moron and forgetting to retitle your paper before turning it in. I turned in the paper and took my test (which I ended up with a 96% on).

Anyway, the trip up there was pretty funny. Ron Mitchell, Matthew Graham were the professors, and Adrienne, Marielle, Jenni, Whitney, Tristin, and I were the interns. I'm sure Ron and Matt were absolutely thrilled to be with six girls on the trip (that's sarcasm, in case you're not familiar with my writing). We drove up to Chicago, which took about six hours, and stopped at a Chinese place on the way. Somehow the lady lost the order form for us and was freaking out, saying she'd have to pay for our food if she didn't find it or something, I don't know. I mean we weren't charged extra but it was really weird. Anyway, we got there and we stayed at the Palmer House Hilton. Ron stayed at Hilton Chicago and I don't know where Graham stayed. I roomed with Marielle and Whitney.

Thursday was the first day of the AWP Conference. This was a new experience for Tristin, Whitney, and I. I think the other three had been to something like this before. Anyway, basically our job as the interns was to sit at the book fair in two hour shifts, and I took the first one. Graham stopped by every once in a while and I sat with Whitney for most of it. Then I went to help with Pre-Registration (doing that would make registration free) and when I was done I walked around the book fair for a while and got some free stuff and submission guidelines.At 7 the group went to eat some deep dish pizza. That night I stayed in the room, took a nice relaxing bath, and called Michael.

Friday I was late for my book fair shift because Marielle and (mostly) Whitney took so long to get ready, and then we went to try to find this breakfast place that ended up not existing. After my shift I went to this seminar on creating online literary communities, and then I went to a seminar with Adrienne and Jenni about writing across multiple genres. Marielle ended up not feeling well, which made me sad. That night Jenni, Adrienne, Whitney, and I ate at Miller's Pub and then Jenni, Adrienne, and I went to a reading by ZZ Packer and Joe Meno (which was amazing!) prefaced by Mucca Pazza, the punk marching band. Then we went to a flash fiction slam and Tristin joined us. The flash fiction slam was really fun, despite the fact Gertrude Stein managed to sneak up during one of the readings (not the actual Gertrude Stein, someone did a reading that was much like hers, except infinitely better) and the fact that the first guy who read made me think he was going to kill us all in our sleep. We went to the dance party that was being held a floor up, but it was boring so we left.

I actually ended up throwing up when we got back; I think it was the food at Miller's Pub. You can't tell me that it's not suspicious that Jenni's burger, Whitney's pulled pork, Adrienne's fish, and my shrimp all came out at the same time, and I mean like ten or fifteen minutes after we ordered it. We didn't think anything about it after time, but the fact that I was so violently sick makes me think that I had food poisoning. That actually lasted throughout Saturday. I tried to tough it out and go to the book fair to sit a shift, but after about thirty minutes of just sitting there I was felt really sick, so I went back. The taxi driver on the way back talked way too much and was very political, but I didn't care as long as I got back. I actually felt better near the evening, but then I ate and it came back, and gave up on trying to feel better. The girls tried to invite me to eat Indian food with them, but I think that would have had a worse effect on me than the McDonalds I ate (hey, food at the hotel would have been like 20 bucks and that was the closest thing there).

Sunday we went back; I was still feeling pretty ill after eating brunch at Maxwell's on the way back, so Ron and Graham were kind enough to give me their spot (they were switching back and forth with driving). I got dropped off at my place and then I basically just went to bed after studying for the Psychology of Gender test I had to make up yesterday (and got an 88% on). Today I had to make up the German test I missed; it didn't take very long but I hope I didn't make any stupid mistakes.

And that's Chicago. I really enjoyed going and seeing everything, even though I got sick. It was nice meeting some established writers. I've organized my submission guidelines and maybe sometime soon I'll start sending stuff out. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.