….and the sound of oldies music and the smell of homemade tortillas rose through the house. I could have been pouring over the catalogue of presentations. I could have been finishing my Spring A term grading so I could leave town with a clean slate. I could have been brushing up my resume. But instead, I was enjoying some time with my family.
Tomorrow morning at 7am I will board a plane for Texas destined for the 2013 NAEA Convention. It will be the first time I attend a professional meeting in six years. (Hard to believe it has really been that long.). It will also be the first time I am away from Cora for more than a few hours since she was born. Obviously I’m excited, and a little bit petrified.
Aside from the tugging maternal heartstring stuff that I won’t bore you with here, I am eager and nervous about going to the track without a horse in the race. For the first time since I started my journey as an academic, I’ll be attending a conference without presenting any of my own research, planning to attend a business meeting, or participating in a panel discussion. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to move freely between presentations and to engage in informal interactions with old friends, mentors, and classmates with no preconceived plans or obligations. But, I’m also worried about how I might feel in the company of those same peers, particularly those I knew in graduate school, most of whom have moved on to full-time positions around the country while I opted to stay in Columbus to be with the man I fell in love with just as I was about to go on the job market.
One of the people I am most excited to see is Amy Brook Snider, my mentor from Pratt. Amy encouraged me to join NAEA when I was first starting in this field and sheparded me around my first convention. I wrote about Amy in one of my first posts for this blog. She has also had a long career of feeling like an insider/outsider when it comes to the academic world of art education. Our 2007 NAEA presentation touched on this. As the title suggests, Amy and I used to talk on the phone pretty regularly, but it’s been a long time now. I know that spending time with her, talking about all that’s gone on in my life since we were last together, will give me fresh and renewed perspective on where I am and where I want to be.
Gotta go spend a few last precious minutes with my man. More from Texas.