Sunday, April 15, 2007

Careful what you wish for!

In my last post, I mentioned that I had been stuck in the conference hotel for most of my visit to Burlington.

It all changed Friday night.

I had some trouble getting to sleep after a pretty busy day with a bothersome meeting at the very end (all other parts of the conference very positive though). I probably didn't get to sleep til 1:30 am or so. Then, at 3 am, I woke up to a disembodied voice saying "an emergency has been reported. Please leave the building. An emergency has b..." and it cut out. It was silent for a moment and I figured it was a false alarm. Then another minute or so later, the most annoying alarm starting sounding. You know the ones. Weeeeeeeeeeeep ending in a shrill eeep. I'm still sort of asleep and very cozy, so I stayed in bed waiting for this to cut out too. After two minutes, I gave it another minute. After four minutes, I started hearing doors closing in the hallway. I got up, felt the door (yes, girl scouts taught me something), and after finding it was cool I got dressed and gathered up my cell phone and computer and contemplated whether I should take my knitting for about thirty seconds (it's a small hotel, I felt pretty confident I would get out OK). Then down outside to the 40 degree Burlington rainy night. I gathered with some others from the conference and we wandered over to where the fire engines were parked (no activity with ladders or hoses etc). We were on the side of the hotel, the fire engines in the front, and when we got to the front we saw half the conferene attendees in the lobby. There's nothing more frightening than the sight of a bunch of academics in their pjs at 3 in the morning, trust me. SOme people I didn't even recognize!! After about half an hour the all clear was sounded, and I heard on fireman say that someone pulled the alarm.

The irony is that the gas fireplace in the hotel lobby was blazing away as we all gathered around.

Many pictures were taken, and our keynote speaker on Saturday started by saying "I heard that this was a good conference, but no one told me about the pajama party!" It will go down in the lore for our conference, which is sadly lacking in good lore.

Whenever I go to this conference, I make a pledge to myself that I will meet and have significant conversations with at least three people. I probably got up to ten at this conference, and I really enjoyed that. I'm really a shy person, but now I feel I can walk into the lunches or dinners at this conference and sit down with someone I don't know and actually enjoy myself. This is pretty much of an accomplishment for me.

The travel back was fine, got home at 10:30 last night and it was a long trip but as long as you get home OK it's all good.
Waiting for me was my confirmation for the Black Sheep Gathering...I got into Judith McK McQ's class on 'three wild downs' spinning yak, cashmere and bison. Should be cool.

Little knitting was done, even on the plane. But I will have some things to show you eventually.

How was YOUR weekend?


Anonymous said...

It seems likely that one of those kooky academics pulled the fire alarm. Meaning someone must be writing a paper perhaps about pj choices among academics, social behavior while under a percieved threat. ;-)


Carol said...

~snort~ Sounds like your weekend was much better than mine! ;) And you brought home with you, a social accomplishment! Good on you!

Carol said...

Thank you Kim! Tomorrow!