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Dancing with the Stars (of Academe)

16 May, 2007

Dancing with the Stars (of Academe)

This year, like Professor Doktor von Kornkrake, I went to the dance. Next year, if LDW comes to the Zoo again, he may have to suffer through a little conversation at a table, even if he absolutely does not dance, because it’s fun to see one’s friends that relaxed. In return, I promise not to close down the dance! My dance was interesting. Danced with an eminent mediævalist, while Cranky Professor looked on and smirked. The problem with academic siblings is that they can be merciless.

Then, I had a great chat with Mike Drout, whom I hadn’t seen in a year, and not enough of a chat with owlfish. I tried to add the Carolingianist from down the road to my dance card, but he had understandably not had enough to drink to dance to the … eclectic? choice of music. And it was eclectic — some techno stuff, a bit of not-quite-metal (what Cranky calls Geetar bands), definite oldies (i.e., from my childhood), ABBA-Bowie-Queen kind of stuff, Some rock anthem-y ballady stuff, and, well, how can you go wrong with a dance where people rush to the dance floor to do the Time Warp and that closes with people singing Bohemian Rhapsody in parts?

There were some interesting moments. I realised at a couple of points that some of the people on the floor had danced to some of the songs before some of the other people were even born. Older male faculty tended to think of dancing as something one does with a partner, while many of the rest of us tend to dance in groups, except when doing an actual partnered-type dance. Towards the end of the evening, Cranky pointed out that his college bête noir (someone who actually gave him a C) was trying to edge into our group. The Spanish archæologist from my panel was an amazing dancer — seriously, he put people to shame with the salsa moves! The guy who chaired my panel, who I always thought was likeable, but whom I hadn’t really ever had much of a chance to talk to, and the enormously tall mediævalist from State Polytechnic were huge amounts of fun — although Cranky and I felt we needed to try to keep them from pouring too much alcohol down our sweet younger academic half-sibling’s throat!

So, at the dance, I saw lots of other people, too. Scott Nokes was there, and horribly embarrassed that he couldn’t remember what name I blogged under. Another friend from the UK looked fab, as usual — although apparently he went for subtle, not having brought his glowsticks. Can I just say that he’s an impressive dancer? Much of my time on the dance floor was spent near a lovely and hugely fun, very anonymous blogfriend (yay! to have met her!). And a couple of my friends frm Beachy U were also at the dance, although I didn’t get enough of a chance to talk to them. That is the one problem — one wants to see everybody, but when they are in other subfields, it’s really hard to connect. I looked around for another anonymous blogfriend, Digital Medievalist, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, and their very cool and nice friend MacAllister Stone, but didn’t see them. I did see the absolutely amazing Lisa Carnell, whose thankless hard work helps to keep the congress functioning, but she was always across the room enjoying a well-deserved break!

Drinks were a bit pricey, though. Probably a good thing. Three beers over an evening of dancing is about right. Others might not have been quite as judicious. Still, I think a good time was had my most, if not all, and the standing around singing just about wiped out my voice. It was also a strange discovery that I knew the words to “Livin’ on a Prayer” and a couple of other songs that I never particularly liked … Blowing off steam is a good thing.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 16 May, 2007 4:39 pm

    Academic sibling: I’m assuming that means you had the same advisor. Does it mean at the same time in the same place?What could an academic half-sibling be?

  2. 16 May, 2007 5:26 pm

    This particular sibling is same time, smae place, but doesn’t have to be. Half-sib is for people who had the same two major advisors, but in reverse order. In this case, Early Mediævalist was my Doktorvater, and Late MA guy in the same department was the second reader, where for the half-sib, the roles are reversed.

  3. 16 May, 2007 6:03 pm

    Alas, I lack the courage to brave the dance. Maybe next year; I missed seeing folk I’d hoped to chat with and it seems all were at the dance.

  4. 19 May, 2007 9:02 pm

    Late, but thanks for the explanation.

  5. 6 June, 2007 12:35 pm

    I’m getting around finally to visiting everyone’s blogs and leaving thank-you notes for being so terribly interesting and friendly, and helping make my first Kalamazoo a fun and remarkable experience.cheers!

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