10 August, 2004

¡El Congreso que por poco me mató!

As everyone has informed me, all conferences are the same- usually after I have told them about falling asleep during talks, being nearly bored to death at certain points and just how goddamn long they are. The first part I just couldnt help, cause it generally happened right after lunch when all the blood would leave my head to assist in the digestion process and to make things worse they turn the lights out, which always lulls me to sleep. Most of the talks of the second part of the congress were given by the big and not-so-big names in Moche archaeology- and most were also in spanish which at points made it hard to understand what exactly the speaker was talking about, not just the whole language barrier thing but also the simple fact that they were using a completely different terminology than the one I am used to and have been taught. But it was interesting and informative all the same, especially to learn about the new trends happening in the thinking and theory about the Moche culture/polity. Some of the conclusions I had trouble with but it was fun to hear how this people reached their conclusions, and most were pretty logical.

I also shmoozed quite a bit, introducing myself to some of the big-wigs, especially those with connections to the schools I am looking at for grad school. I collected some emails and talked shop with a lot of people...I got to ask questions and discuss my own interests a bit (although one of the guys I talked with, who was from UPenn, sorta knocked me back down to earth and injected a little reality into my dreams. Although I was a tiny bit disillusioned afterwards it was def. a good thing as it was a great dose of perspective- and I was informed that the guy is a very dedicated professor, someone who would give you 20 pgs. of notes on a 10 pg. paper). LJ complimented me, telling me that I had "matured" during my time here, and although I did mentally roll my eyes, I appreciated the comment for what it was and what it probably implies for his estimation of me as a student and person.

The last day of the congress was the best though, cause it was the shortest day of the five days of presentations, and afterwards there was this "campesino" picnic, which turned out to really be a buffet with a montón de comida...and all of it was sooo good! Along with that they served pisco sours and wine, with coffee later to compliment the desserts. I had a really good time then and talked a bunch with Chris Donnen whose articles I have always liked and who I think I may have impressed a bit- not with any theory or anything, just as a nice person and good student (someone who would make a great grad student perhaps? te he).

In summation, it was exhausting and sometimes boring, but I enjoyed my first conference and of course, am looking forward to the next one (if I can afford it)....


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