Two weeks ago, I presented a paper on the biblical acrostics at the Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. I was very excited to attend this meeting; there were some good papers being presented, I wanted feedback on my paper, and I hoped to finally have my oft-thwarted coffee appointment with Art.
The meeting was largely a disappointment, for several reasons. The most important factor was that I obtained a pretty severe head-cold on Tuesday, and was home sick Wednesday and Thursday. Most of the papers I was interested in hearing were on Thursday, including Art’s. I was home asleep, trying desperately to recuperate enough to give my paper on Friday afternoon.
I did muster the strength to go on Friday. The plenary session with Kent Sparks was excellent, and I ran into Gary Schnittjer. Gary was encouraging as always, but wasn’t able to stay for my session–some lame excuse about having to pick up his daughter. 🙂 My dad came, which was fun, and he took me out to lunch. But I was blowing my nose every ten seconds, couldn’t shake any hands, and didn’t really want to meet anyone or have conversations.
By the time 3:15 rolled around, I was ready to head home, but still had to give my paper in the last session. I tried to save my incredibly explosive nose-blowing for the rounds of applause before and after each presenter. Everyone was very kind and gracious to me, but no one had much feedback on my paper–I think hearing it was like drinking from the fire hose. Oh well.
The conference wasn’t nearly as well-attended as I had thought it would be. I guess the national SBL meetings are a bigger deal–I’ve never been.
I got home that evening feeling grateful to God that I had been able to present, but disappointed thinking of how things could have been different.
Next update: Two big announcements