Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some Days, Life Is Good

Well, some excellent news. Some time ago, I received an invitation to give a talk at a rather select gathering in December, on another continent. This is going to be a complicated trip, because after the meeting, I want to go somewhere else, to be with people I am close to for Christmas. Immediately after Christmas, I need to be on the U.S. East coast, for another conference.

Getting the travel arrangements sorted out has proved to be more than a little complicated. However, today I finally received confirmation of my multi-country, multi-city itinerary. It actually does not look too bad (although there is a lot of time spent on planes). I also got the details of our accommodations, which appear to be first class.

One of the perks of being an active researcher, is that one gets to go on trips like this, once in a while. The really nice part about this particular meeting is that all the costs are being borne by the organisers. My almost non-existent travel budget will only have to cover the hotel on the East Coast. In addition, it appears that I know quite a few of the other people presenting at the same event. They are smart and interesting people, so this should make for a great meeting. As a final bonus, a major publisher has already agreed to publish the papers that are given at the meeting. So, a nice trip to far away places, with clement climates is now confirmed. This makes my day. Of course, now I have to make sure that the talk I give is up to standard. I have been working on it since Thanksgiving. It seems to be shaping up rather well. To get to see people I do not usually see for Christmas is a bonus. The final conference will be more work related, but as it is large and one I have attended many times, I anticipate seeing plenty of old friends there too.

On various other academic and pseudo-academic blogs fairly recently, I have seen people arguing that research is not really that important. I think that this is rubbish! This is the kind of line one gets either from those condemed to teach too much by their oppresive institutions, or from those who do no research that they can get published. Not only is research one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of an academic job, when it also bring dividends like this trip, it should be praised for pragmatic reasons too.

The CP

P.s. Several blogs I read have postings about a blog game (I hate the word 'meme', being used in this context). Folks are being asked to link to a post on the blog of Acephalous. Apparently, this is some kind of experiment for a talk that will be given at this years annual MLA meeting. So, add the link, or say 'Whatever'.

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