con⋅fer⋅ence [kon-fer-uhns, -fruhns]
1. a meeting for consultation or discussion: a conference between a student and his adviser.
2. an event where like-minded people geek out over like-minded things. “I just got back from the AMS conference!”
okay, so i made up that last definition, but don’t you think that sums it up? AMS Philadelphia 2009 was great and just like any other academic conference, had its ups and downs. granted, the downs for me included getting lost, getting lost, getting lost, getting stuck in traffic, paying way too much money for tolls, driving for seven straight hours, getting lost and getting lost but the ups, both personal and professional overshadowed all of that.
(okay, maybe i still like the getting lost stories. they’re really rather funny.)
for the business side:
as per usual, i go to AMS to see other students, colleagues and professors, catch up and hopefully hear some interesting papers. saturday proved to be the best day all around: caught some really fascinating papers on Avant-Garde Diaspora, Luxe Pop and Pastiche and Neo-Classicism. saturday also happened to be the day where i saw the most people, had the best conversations and of course, attended the giant joint reception. (have to say, not a fan of the format and i’m sticking to that.) the big downside, however, to going to a four day conference is the toll it takes on your body and mind. as i sat diligently in the British Topics session, hearing about Constan Lambert and RVW, i found myself fighting to focus – and not because i wasn’t totally enthralled by the paper. my body had had it! which leads us to…
the personal side:
now last year at AMS in Nashville, i was the only Peabody student who attended. yeah, i had friends but it was a little lonely. it was nice this year to have other students and other Peabody professors there along with the slew of friends i’ve made over the years. went to some great dinners and lunches, saw Philly and enjoyed being in the company of other musicologists. if you’re interested in my thoughts in real time from the conference, check out my twitter feed at www.twitter.com/idmbassoon, for which, i’m sure, i’ve already gotten in trouble. (also do a search for #amsphilly2009 and see what other friends & musicologists were saying about the conference)
on the whole, the conference was great. sure, i went to some not-so-great papers but that’s to be expected. i learned enough but what i will take from it are the connections that have been made and cemented and the time spent.