Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday (Nina)

It's cold today! And although it's only my first full day at the convention but it feels like the third. After my stint as a greeter at the Electronic Village, I hiked back to the hotel (it's only 7 blocks and takes about 10 minutes but it feels far) to rest (but so far I have only sat at my computer!) and have a snack (Veronica got some apples yesterday) before going back to the CALL-IS business meeting at 6:45. After the meeting, some of us webheads will go out to eat.

I briefly considered a 20-minute "hot topic" presentation at 7:30, but ended up getting to the Convention Center at 8:30 for William Labov's plenary address. Labov is a real hot shot in linguistics (sociolignuistics in particular; I remember learning about his work when I was at Georgetown!) but I have to confess his talk on "The Sociolinguistic Intersection of Spanish and English" was pretty dry.  After that I gave my own EV Fair presentation, which went well! I had a nice little audience for both consecutive 25-minute presentations, and I gave away all 21 of the little strips of paper with the link to the presentation blog, and had to write the URL down for a couple of people who missed out.  The people who came seemed interested and I felt pleased with how it went.

After that, I went part of a presentation on "Preparing for CEA Review of Academics"; As the Self-Study Coordinator at MEI when we were applying for CEA accreditation, I wanted to hear about the experiences of others going through that process. Then there was a lunch break. I just ate some nuts and dried fruits I had brought, and later I walked across the street to the bustling Reading Market and bought a cup of yogurt. (I bravely resisted all the sweets and cookies that were there!) While there, I ran into Buth:

After that, I went to the Marriott for two sessions: "Schmoozing 101" (couldn't resist that title)by Liz Tummons of the Univ. of Missouri and Rebecca Oreto of Carnegie Mellon Univ., and "Speak Like an Expert: Transformative Panel Presentations" by Lisa Leopold of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. The former was about teaching ITAs and graduate students the art of f2f networking, which will be so important to them professionally, yet they often don't have a clue about how it is done. The second was about group projects where students play roles as a panel moderator and experts on a topic of the group's choice; they prepare and present a panel discussion before there classmates after suitable instruction and practice. Both of these presentations gave me food for thought and were quite impressive.

At 3:00 it was time for my first two-hour stint volunteering at the EV. My second one will be on Saturday. It was Mini-Workshops, so there was little to do except when the presenters of one of the workshops couldn't get Wordle to work because Java was malfunctioning on the Mac computers! There was a bit of a flurry as it was decided how to fix this problem (it involved shutting down the computers and powering them back up to run Windows). Then we did that for the whole row of computers. That was exciting (haha)! But I like volunteering at the EV because I always run into webheads and others that I know there. It's like my home at the Convention Center.

Here's a picture of Vance, Christine, and me at the EV:


  1. Oh, dear Nina. Thanks so much for your updates. I feel I am a bit in Philly too :-) I wish I could attend a Tesol again, but maybe in the future when it gets held in Toronto, ha ha ... I am completely out of the academic world right now but wish something came up in the future ... All the best, my dear Color Twin. Miss you, enjoy Philly to the max, especially meetings and outings with Webheads :-)

  2. Thanks for the report, Nina, I wish I could be there. Through your pictures I at least get some of the experience. I'll be thinking of you! As WC Fields said, "I'd like to see Paris before I die....Philadelphia will do...." Though he also said, "I spent a year in Philadelphia once...I think it was a Sunday..."

  3. @Berta, dear Color Twin, I think you would love Phila., it's a beautiful city full of art, statuary, and colorful murals as well as gorgeous old and new architecture (see my Friday post). Veronica says TESOL will be in Toronto in 2014. If I am not retired by then I hope to see you!

    @Tom, we miss you too. How's everything? WC Fields was an old fuddy-duddy. Philadelphia is great!