Academic conferences are an exercise in sleep deprivation for me. Always, there’s so much to see and do. Concurrent sessions run all day, beginning at 8 am, and every evening brings a plenary session or event. Leisurely dinners begin at 9 pm or so, and stretch way past coffee and dessert as long-term friends and just-met colleagues talk excitedly about books and ideas. And in any spare time – which for me is in the very early morning when all my friends are still sleeping – there’s a whole city to explore. I got up early one morning to walk through the nearest park, which was filled with green lawns, trees in muted yellow, and benches occupied by sound asleep homeless men.
In City That Burned During the Civil War, the sunshine and warm breezes felt like summer. Thankfully, the organizers of the conference had scheduled a generous 90-minute slot for lunch so that each afternoon my friends and I could find a restaurant with outside tables and soak up the last sunshine we might see for months. It was hard to leave – in fact I stayed until the last possible minute and came home on a very late flight. I’ve got photos to post and stories to tell but first, I need to catch up on a week’s worth of sleep.
The park nearest my hotel.