I don't need to dress up as Superwoman for Halloween. All i have to do is look in the mirror!
Anyway, in case you missed me these past couple of days, here's what I've been up to. I went to the annual, national meeting of my professional organization, which was in DC. Since I now live in Philly, I drove down, and since I now have a 4 mo old, he went too.
I was a little worried going all alone. For one thing, it was Ellis's longest carride to date, and for another, I wasn't sure how I was going to maneuver at the conference. Well, Ellis did great in the car. He slept almost the whole way down and definitely the whole back. Overall, Ellis did very, very well.
I drove down on Wednesday night and the first thing I did upon arrival in DC was get lost. I was staying with a friend from Cov (Autumn F. for those who care), and she lives in the city proper, not far at all from the capitol. On Thursday morning, I decided to drive over to the hotel where the conference is since I had baby gear and stuff for the student welcome table that I organized. It was a harrowing experience. I will never drive in DC again! I thought I could manage city driving, but this city is a nightmare. Going ot the hotel was okay, mostly because we were going at like -5mph. It took about an hour and a half to go 5 miles straight through the city. Coming back was horrible; I got so lost and have no idea why. It's like all of a sudden I'm on the wrong road, circling around the Washington Monument! Harumph. I don't like being defeated by directions, because normally I'm very good at figuring out maps, directions, and generally where I am.
Thursday i set up the student welcome table and welcomed students. It's nice for first time attending students, because a major academic conference can feel pretty intimidating, esp. if you come alone or barely knowing anyone. This was my fifth year attending, and it was fun to be able to catch up with people I've gotten to know over these past few years. And there was our small Covenant crowd, yay! I left early Thursday evening. Exhaustion set in, and I knew Friday would be intense.
I got up at 5 am on Friday and was on the Metro by 6.45. LOVE the DC metro! I didn't jump on the whole metro idea at first, because I knew I would have to take a cab home since the metro station was a mile from my friend's house, and I wasn't going to walk a mile in the middle of the night, surely the hour of my return. So in order to take a cab, I would have to bring the car seat. But I managed the Metro. I strapped Ellis to my front in the Bjorn. Piled all my stuff (including the carseat) into the stroller and took elevators. It worked great. And when my midnight departure from the conference rolled around, I was so thankful just to load into a cab and not have to think about anything. I had a 7 am breakfast meeting, and I rolled in with Ellis and the moderator rolled in with a stroller and a 5 yr old, sticking an Elmo DVD into his laptop and asking one of us to take minutes. It made me feel a lot more comfortable about being there with my baby.
Bringing Ellis to the conference at first made me nervous, because, well, you know, academia isn't exactly up there in the family friendly scale. But it turned out really well. I received so many encouraging and supportive comments from women who had brought their babies in years past (or at least wished they had been able to, depending on how many years have passed). At one point, another woman and I were in the same lounge nursing, and she joked that this was beginning to feel like a La Leche League meeting. It was also rather amusing to see super famous scholars (men and women alike) melt at the sight of Ellis's bright blue eyes and cheery smile peering out the top of my Bjorn. (I was also able to get in some good conversations with people I probably wouldn't have approached otherwise. Go Ellis!) However, i didn't have the bravery to bring Ellis into any paper sessions, though one woman encouraged me to go ahead and do so. Joanna held E for a bit so I could catch a couple papers in teh afternoon. I tried to go to singing from Ren facsimiles (my favorite event!), but he was just too fussy. Oh well. After dinner, we went to a 10pm reception and chatted with people. He had been sleeping in my Bjorn, but then he woke up and started CryFest, so I left, got him settled, and caught my cab home. We were both exhausted. And after two days of juggling baby and conference, i was feeling a bit at my wit's end.
I was so thrilled for the dawn of Saturday, because Chris arrived. He came down on Amtrak and took over boy duty. I got to go hear some really fabulous papers, catch up with a couple of people I needed to talk to, and just have some relief. Phwew! I was really ready for him to come. After my morning mile walk to the Metro (with boy in bjorn, stuff in stroller), my body just ached and my head pounded from strain of the past two days. Saturday was an important day for me. I was really excited by the papers I heard. We had super fun with our Cov friends. And then in the evening I hit a couple of parties held by places where I'm applying to grad school.
Yes, I said applying.
For many good reasons, I decided to finish where I am with a master's and apply to new PhD programs. I had a good talk with my advisor about it. And I'm feeling really good about this decision. The thing is, though, that the only viable options in my area are Ivy League, which is good...if I get accepted. So I'm madly working on my applications, and I did some good networking over the weekend. So we'll see!
The hour time change didn't ameliorate my 1am bedtime, and we struggled awake in the morning. Poor Ellis slept all day and all night. Being a good conference baby is also exhausting!
So we're back. I feel refresehd, recharged, and excited.
...and I'm off tomorrow to go to Florida to visit my g'ma.