Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From Dallas with Dyspepsia

I am coming around to the view that these APS meetings are generally awful. Some people insist that they're great if treated correctly, but I don't see it, I have been exhausted and irritated ever since we arrived and immediately found out that physicists had overwhelmed all the restaurants near the convention center. The coffee-shop lines have been consistently dire. The meeting itself has been wearying -- I had signed up, unwisely, to give two talks, neither of which I put together until the very last minute -- and there are far fewer talks this year than in prev. years that I feel compelled to go to.

We're staying at the Magnolia, an enormous hotel in downtown Dallas that's notable primarily for its lurching turn-of-the-20th-cent elevators. (They're also really slow.) There are three Englishwomen here who seem to spend most of their time riding the elevators and repeating a few obvious jokes about them. (I wonder if this is a successful pick-up strategy?) As convention centers go this one is exceptionally ugly, and abuts a graveyard with a huge Confederate memorial (Jefferson Davis's marble neck-beard is like a wrinkled goiter), but is otherwise OK. It is adequately provided with restrooms, and the wireless internet is a LOT better than one expects at these things. If only my laptop had a functioning battery... but one is forced to hang out in corners w/ power outlets.

I wonder what the etiquette is re gawking at people's name-tags. Personally I can't help it.


Jenny Davidson said...

It is shameful to admit it, but I pretty much can't go to a conference any more unless I am either a plenary-type speaker or it's the kind of conference that happens at a university rather than a hotel and with only one speaker or panel at a time. Cannot abide the big hotel ones!

Sarang said...

the advantages of getting ahead ... I do find it helpful to have deadlines to work to though. And (cf. prev. post) APS meetings are arguably one of those painful experiences that imbue one's life with meaning.