It's funny, but I have developed a pre-conference ritual for this particular conference. I realized yesterday as I was participating in my ritual. It involves going to Home City (for the past four years I've attended this conference I've left it from Home City regardless of where I live during the academic year), getting a hair cut, buying toiletries from my favorite bath store, buying something to wear to the conference (more on that in a minute), and getting a mani/pedi. It also usually involves buying make up, but I did that here over the spring, and I'm broke and we had to get the husband's sister a graduation gift. So I'm trying to be frugal. It also involves going to B&N. As we were at the mall yesterday, I told the husband that he was witnessing what has become the pre-conference ritual--and I buy the clothes I'm going to wear at the conference from the EXACT SAME STORE every year!
Something about this conference, while a very very friendly conference for its size, makes me incredibly self conscious, but it also makes me want to be at my best; to make the best impression impossible, even though I see the same people year after year, one of whom has known me for almost 15 years now. And my wardrobe NEVER works out for me the way that I want it to for this conference. I imagine in my head what I want to look like and how I want to present myself, and it never works out that way. During the packing process for this trip, I suddenly become a horrifically ugly moron who's just one step away from being exposed as a total fraud and that there are people who will take my degree away from me. I'll come back from the conference embarrassed and jobless, and that'll be it. I'll have to go live under a rock and change my name to run from my embarrassment. This is what goes through my mind in the days before the conference and while I'm trying to at least make myself presentable.
Of course, there is something to be said for a fresh new hair cut and a mani/pedi and a new dress.
There's also something about being in Home City that fills me with this weird anxiety. Which is funny because the husband's family, especially his mom and his brothers are the most laid back non-judgmental people I've ever known, and they LOVE me. But I always feel guilty like they are quietly judging me because I took their son/brother away to live away from the family. Granted, he's a grown man and could have said, "nope, we can't date because you'll move away one day and I don't want to. Sorry." And I feel even more guilty because I found a job closer to my family and not to his. So you know, there's a relative degree of anxiety for me about that, even though I know it's not my fault that no schools around here were advertising for a job in my field when I applied for the job at BLT-U. But, oh well. Once I have the paper done and once I get out to conference city, none of that will matter for I do love conference city with a love that is pure and true.
So I need to be thinking now what I need to accomplish for the summer. I'd like to actually wait until my summer really begins in July to focus on the things I need to do and just teach now, which perhaps seems counterintuitive because you'd think I'd want to work and then play but a M-F six week freshman comp class? Yikes.
While I'm teaching, I'd like to work on the article that I needed to write by June 1. That won't happen. I'll have to shoot for June 15th.
Here's what I hope to get done. Of course it's an ambitious list, but they always are at the beginning of summer are they not? I plan on taking off the last two weeks of August to do nothing but relax, play, and travel, too, by the way.
- First and foremost, finish the dam conference paper.
- Write the shorter article by June 15th.
- Have longer article ready to be sent out by August 11th.
- Read for pleasure.
- Read for work.
- Work on course proposal.
- Work on fall syllabus.
- Join a pool.
- Stay on track with health and fitness goals.
- Finish getting the office and the guest room organized.
- Get all stuff to Goodwill. Get rid of stuff not needed.
And on that note, I'm going to get to work on that conference paper so I then go work out.