Saturday, May 1, 2010

Welcome to AERA 2010

So far AERA has been relatively quiet, aside from bears menacing the Convention Center. Folks here have been complaining about the random snow flurries (nothing is sticking), but my feeling is that I'm better off here than I would be in Nashville, where they are having tornadoes and flooding.

I've gone to two sessions so far, one not very good, and a much better one on the organizational identities of Hispanic-serving institutions. I also attended my own poster session - the same could not be said for about 1/4 of the poster presenters. Seriously, I think AERA should penalize no-shows in some way, if they simply fail to show up. Perhaps not allow them to present the next year? That will never happen, of course, because no one wants to adjudicate which excuses are valid, or walk around being the poster police.

I went to the exhibitor's hall. Neither of the books I had intended to buy were for sale. Instead I picked up an old philanthropy book I really should have already owned and a book that has nothing to do with my research.

Last night some Vanderbilt folks went out to happy hour and dinner. I've also caught up with colleagues from other institutions. Tonight my cohort, or what's here of it, is supposed to go out after the big Vanderbilt reception.

Being in Denver feels a little strange to me. I did live in Denver for a summer, when I interned at the University of Denver, but did not live or work downtown and never spent much time down here. I really don't know the area very well. The location seems to be working; my experience with AERA seems to be that getting around is so much easier when we use a convention center, like here, instead of having everything in hotels. Also, there is a ton of food within easy walking distance.

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