I saw a number of fascinating panels, most notably Singing, Preaching, and Teaching in a Strange Land: Composing Community and Building Coalitions through African-American Religious Language as Literacy Practices which featured three dynamic scholars whom I hope to work with in the future. Who knew you could have “chuch” at 4Cs?
I suffered temporary paralysis when I saw Geneva Smitherman checking into the hotel, Keith Gilyard at the bar, Jacqueline Jones Royster at breakfast, Carol Mattingly on the elevator, and Beverly Moss at a buffet. Fortunately, each one’s warm demeanor shook me out of my first-year state of awe.
I saw Chicago for the first time, and I’m eager to go back.
I laughed so hard with D, E, and even AB.
I was not invisible. (contact me if you want to know what that means).
I met some fine scholars with whom I hope to stay in contact.
I learned that there can be peace in any situation. Because I missed my 9 am flight Saturday morning (as well as the 1 pm, 4 pm, and 6 pm flight) I was told that I would not be able to leave Chicago until Monday. When I finally opted for the 14 hour train ride home and began the trip from the airport to th train station, I met two nice strangers that helped me navigate through the journey. Jean, who was also in town for a conference, rode with me on the city train and talked with me about her work. Cam, an impressive young college senior who will be working on Wall Street in the fall, personally escorted me from the city train to the station, ate dinner with me, and walked me to the line. Since I’m always leery of strangers, I was very thankful for them.
As I rode the train Saturday night, serenaded by the tunes on my beloved i-pod, a peace fell over me – one so strong that despite the tragicomic elements of my day, I was pleased.
I can’t complain.