Friday, July 21, 2017

Winchester Day 2, Part 2 or "What an incredible batch of people"

Look, it's a conference with Death and Feminism as its organizing principles, so I'm going to start with conference adjacent stuff first, because it's been a big day.

1. Dinner was delightful, I managed to sit at a table of mostly Americans who had done/are doing their advanced degrees in the UK. We all boisterously moaned about how utterly, impenetrably baffling the British higher education system is and how, when you get things wrong because no one ever told you what to do, they in turn are baffled because it's, "so obvious."

(I have quite a bit of residual anger about this...probably good to know about what for sorting through purposes.)

2. Did you know I'm Chatty? I'm So Chatty. Being So Chatty means that I had a lot of conversations that started with, "are you presenting?" (most people are) which then led to being asked the same in turn. Lots of people have no idea who I am, which is peachy, but what is astonishing is the people who DO know who I am. "Oh! You're For Whom The Bell Toils! I'm really looking forward to that! You have such a lovely website." (Golly!)

(It's just bells with labels on them! What if it's not very good or interesting and I've lugged 16.6kg/36.5lbs of metal halfway across the world for nothing????) (Breathing.)

3. There are some people who are obviously at a death conference- they're wearing beautifully knitted cardigans with skulls grinning from their backs, dresses covered in skeletons, top hats, petticoats, coffin earrings, etc. Then there's the rest of us, who run the gamut of aesthetics. I wore a black tank top and purple lipstick so I fit in just fine.

4. Very few things are as delightful as listening to people nerding out about very specific, technical topics and then discovering that they personally know each other's heroes and then watching stars burst out of their eyes.

5. I'm currently sitting in the lounge of the dormitory flat I'm staying in and the professor who co-organized this whole event is lovingly gossiping with pair of old, excellent friends. I'm *ABSOLUTELY* listening in and they're hilarious. Also, she just told me a harrowing story of being in Nepal with a bunch of students during the earthquake.

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