May 16, 2011

The Medieval Conference




I just got back from a medieval literature conference. Instead of telling you how it went, I'll just stick with the facts:

* The conference was held in a college dorm in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

* There were 2,000 college professors in attendance. And a handful of nuns.

* On Saturday night, there was a dance.

* I slept in a college dorm room. On an army cot.

* I forgot to pack deodorant.

* I went out to dinner with some fancy professors and was offered what appeared to be canned cat food. I learned later that it was cat food. Fancy professors call it fois gras.



* No one wanted to see the pictures that I took of the nuns.

* Most of the people in attendance also forgot to pack deodorant.

* None of the buildings were air-conditioned.

* Most people seemed genuinely disappointed that I only had four children. They had heard that I had eight.

* My flight to Michigan was delayed 3 hours. We sat on the runway for an additional three hours on my flight home.

* Like everyone on my return flight, the mom and little boy sitting next to me were headed to Disney World. While we were waiting for our plane to take off, the mom showed me how she had grouped and color-coded all of the rides on each of the theme park maps.

* Instead of sitting together on the plane, the above family split up so that their two children could each have a window seat. The dad and son #2 sat eight rows in back of us, but spent most of the flight standing in the aisle next to my seat.

* After listening to the mom and son #1 sing "It's A Small World" (in rounds) for fifteen minutes, I told them that the ride is closed for renovations. This isn't true, but at the time I really wished it was.

I'm glad to be home.

26 comments

mom24orsinis said...

Hey, you were just a little NW of me :( If I had known, I'd have let you stay here, with air conditioning and you could have borrowed my deodorant...and enjoyed my 4 kids...now, which sounds like the better option??? :)

Carrie said...

But...could you pee in privacy, eat sitting down, shower daily, and get uninterrupted sleep? As a mom of only 2 kids, one just 5 months, I view those things as a luxury. I honestly do not even know where my deodorant is some days until my hubby so kindly reminds me with a "you stink"...

Carrie

Sarah said...

I am pretty close to KZoo as well, you could have stayed with me! Although I only have two kids- I do have some sweet clothes from Dress Barn. And I would have let you wear them :)

Melissa Hymas said...

Your wit and condor about life and motherhood brings a smile to my face. Today I thought I would return the favor. Today I had a spider in pants, and though it is not as difficult as your recent struggle, I hope it lessons the sting. Thanks for your humor. ( :

Tricia ~~ Handmade Whimzy said...

Your trip sounds like fun!
:)

Sara Bell said...

Your sarcasm makes my life better!

Trisha Rae said...

Jana!

Isn't WMU just a fancy place? lol. That's where I went to school.

Every summer the conference rolls into town - I still can't figure out why...every year they put you all in the freshman dorms. lol.

Despite no deodorant and air-conditioning (I can't really believe you needed it seeing it wasn't warm...) I hope you had fun.

Kalamazoo and WMU, truly are a beautiful place. :)

Zillah said...

i was there too! i spent most of my time lurking at the bookseller stall with the jelly bellys, praying that nobody would talk to me about medieval stuff and exchanging glares with the bookseller who, presumably, wanted me to buy a book in exchange for all those jelly bellys.

Mom of 12 said...

Since this was a medieval conference weren't you expecting a little authenticity? Deodorant is not exactly medieval.
Sandy

saymation said...

Ha ha too bad they didn't sell deodorant at the bookstore. I want to see your pictures of the nuns! It sounds like you kept your cool on the plane - I don't think I would have.

myfwbs said...

Show us the nuns! I realllly want to see them :)

Celeste said...

Let me guess. You were at Nazareth College. I spent one college year of my life there.

Their foods standards have been elevated. Trust me.

mecapucci said...

You are awesome Jana!
Really, really AWESOME!

vinobaby said...

Kalamazoo? Wow. That might be worse than being forced to attend a week-long wedding in Schenectady.

Glad you survived. Pics of nuns could be cool.

Cheers.
VB

Lynn said...

How funny, my sister was one of the presenters there. Something or other about musical elements in the Canterbury Tales. She's the black sheep of the family, going for her PhD :)

Kerrie said...

I live 30 minutes from Kalamzoo: where the HECK did you find a restaurant that serves fois gras?

The Mommy Therapy said...

That sounds fabulous. The combinations of cat food served, lack of deodorant and army type sleeping...why would you have EVER left?

Glad you are home too! :)

Cathryn said...

Wow, you paid money for all that?!

Mrs. Tuna said...

Did you at least shave your pits to keep the stinky down?

The Poolman said...

2,000 people for a medieval literature conference? No offense intended, but I wouldn't have imagined it would attract that large a crowd...even with the nuns thrown in. I love the comment about A Small World being closed. But you seriously risked a crying kid for the rest of the trip.

vanilla said...

Oh, you are not mean merely to your own kids, you are mean to other people's kids as well. ;)

Kirsten said...

I think my favorite part of this post is the picture of medieval torture devices at the beginning. it kinda sets the tone for the rest of the post.

Molly said...

I definitely read "plus a couple of nuts" instead of "a couple of nuns"

whoops.

Side note: I love nuns. Err rather, the one nun i've ever seen.

Christine said...

Love it! Last year flying home from Salt Lake to California I was smack dab in the middle of a family of 6 heading to Disneyland (all color matched shirts). I quickly gave up my seat so they could sit together...I could only guess what the flight would've been like for me if I hadn't.

Erin said...

ahhhhhh...the congress.
i attended wmu and, as an employee of the university's auditorium, had to work the congress events for a number of years.
hope you enjoyed your stay at my alma mater!

Nena said...

I had almost the same experiance in Kalamazoo, MI. College Dorm, Slept on a Cot, no AC, and everyone was so unsure why a California Girl was so boring and didn't have bleach blonde hair. They shunned me for the duration of the week.