The last time I blogged was on my birthday, three weeks ago. It's not surprising since this month has been one of the busiest months of my life, and even now that school is done I can't really stop. Still have papers to grade, still have to work, have to get my life back into some kind of order and jump on my thesis work. I thought that I'd give a rundown of all the things I've done this month.
My birthday was on Friday the 3rd and I had a nice dinner with a lot of friends, went to gallery stroll and had cake at my house with more friends. My little sister came down and visited me for the weekend and I got to see people I hadn't seen in a long time. Very awesome.
I left for New Orleans on Tuesday April 7, so I had to get my Great War paper done before then since it would be due the day after I got home, and I managed to do it! I took the bus to Salt Lake, my sister took me to the airport. I ended up taking the same plane as 3 professors from BYU, which ended up being really fun. I sat next to one who was sitting next to a lady that worked for the FBI, and she was extremely interesting to listen to. I also sat next to an old man from New Orleans who had a disgusting burn on his hand that made me sick. He kept buying those little bottles of wine, and after the third he started talking to me. He told me all the things he thought I should do in the city, all the places I should go to eat and the things I should see. The drunk old man's information was very useful to me later, I found.
The night we got into New Orleans I went out to dinner with my professors at a place called Daisy Duke's. It was ok food. I got a seafood omelet and had my first experience with crawfish. LOVED it. I also had grits, which didnt taste like anything to me. (I would try them at another place where they were soooo much better, not runny, and super delicious and buttery). It was weird and fun to hang out with three older married professors. It was a good way to start out the week since I would be hanging out with other professors and I got used to it, I felt very comfortable and could hold my own in a conversation, which definitely came in handy later.
On Wednesday I presented my paper and it went really well. I got some good feedback from the people there and felt pretty good about it. Then Dr. Sederholm, Dr. Perry and I went to the House of Blues and bought tickets to see the Vivian Girls for that night. Then I went to some panels and then went out to dinner with Dr. Sederholm (whom I began to call Carl, which was weird to me) and his friends. I felt really weird at first and almost didn't go, but eventually felt comfortable and had some really interesting conversations. It was a good night. Afterwards we went to the Vivian Girls show and it was pretty awesome.
On Thursday I hung out with my roommate and a guy who was there to present from BYU. It was fun, we just walked around and looked at stuff, went to the French Market and bought some bracelets. Then I ate a beignet. And my life has never been the same since. I went out again Thursday with the same group and had some great conversations yet again. And then I ate a crawfish etouffe and my life has never been the same since. I ate that three more times before I left on Sunday. I had never even heard of this stuff before. Amazing. After Carl's panel we took him to get beignets and then walked around and down Bourbon Street, which is always fun. I think he enjoyed himself, so I'm glad he hung out with us.
On Friday we went on a "Ghost Tour" of the French Quarter, which was boring. But I got to go into a bar that was once a brothel and was allegedly haunted by a dead prostitute. So, well worth the 20 bucks, yeah? I did get to learn a little bit of history, which actually did make it worth going, since I'm a geek for local histories.
I was supposed to come home Saturday, but I decided to extend my flight until Sunday so that I could go to more panels on Saturday and see a little more of the city. I ended up spending the morning in a cemetery, but I think I should have gone on the street car to see the big old houses outside the city, but alas, I went to the most awesome cemetery in the country instead. I'm happy for my decision. I also ended up going to four more panels and talking to a lot more awesome people.
This was definitely one of my favorite trips, especially because I got most of it funded. I still need to bring in receipts and get it all straightened out, but I'll get the hotel and registration paid for at least. I also think it was really good for me as far as figuring out what I want to do with my life. I want to go to conferences and talk to amazing people, and share the work I do and buy the most current books and be involved in that world. And I think going to this conference proved to myself that I can hold my own, that I can contribute. It's made me want to work harder to do all those things I want to do.
Coming home was hard. I had to get up at 3 in the morning to get to my shuttle at 4, the flight was at 6 and I had a 2 hour layover in Atlanta. When I got back I had to take the bus to Provo which was another 2 hours. I didn't get home until 4 that afternoon, and on just 2 hours of sleep. Very not fun. Then I had finals week: a paper due on Tuesday, a final and projects due on Saturday and another paper and a presentation on Saturday. Plus I had to work 20 hours before Saturday. It was a hard week, but I made it through. I couldn't believe how tired I was. By Sunday I had no energy left whatsoever, and this week has been me just taking it easy, enjoying the nice weather, working a bit and spending time with friends. It's been a nice little recovery period.
Now it's back to work.