A Thousand Words A Day

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Saint Louis went pretty well. I did indeed get a number of comments (most positive, and even the ones that were not so positive [to put the bast face on it] were constructive) on my presentation. This was not the conference that gave me an award and will publish the paper, because quite frankly this is a little higher level conference. Academics is a very stratified field. That fact by itself does not surprise me, in that we all know that colleges are selective to different extent. One of the great strengths of our higer ed system (which is the best in the world, not to put too nice a spin on my chosen field of work, of course) is that the choices are os varied. There are big schools you can go to, there are small schools you can go to, there are state schools you can go to, there are private colleges you can go to, there are liberal arts colleges you can go to, there are technical schools you can go to, there are community colleges you can go to, there are bible colleges you can go to. The sheer volume of choices means that there probably is a place for you (and you and you and you and you and you) in the system. We let all of our higher educational outlets be different, and we see that as one of its strengths. Not to get too far off the subject, but one of the great weaknesses of our primary and secondary school system (not one of the best in the world, probably not one of the best ten in the world, and maybe even not one of the best twenty in the world) is the fact that we are trying to standardize it so much. Let us make every high school the exact clone of every other high school, no matter the student body or the geography, etc . . . thank goodness we do not do that to higher ed! Do we think it is a coincidence that our high schools are incredibly unsuccessful while our colleges are incredibly successful? Well enough about that subject. Let's get back to conferences and journals, where this entry was heading before I highjacked it with thst rant.

Anyway, conferences and journals operate the same way, with a similar stratification and level of selectivity. The J of F is the most selective journal in the field, and the F M A is the most selective conference. They would get and A+ for their quality and selectivity. They are the Ivy League, the gold standard, if you will. The articles that I have written are not even close to being quantitative and theoretical enough for this journal and conference. This is not self mockery or low self esteem, it is a recognition that the work I do is much too practical for these bodies. Then there are the nice private liberal arts colleges of my field, and these would pretty much be conferences like the M F A and other regional conferences. This is the conference that I can get into and that I can present papers at, but that I can ont get published in. Then, there are the quality state institutions of my field, such as the J of P M and F P and E. These are the journals that I am considering for my re-done and re-researched and re-written article. This would be a B or B- level journal, but for me and my expectations and my college, that would be pretty impressive nonetheless. I would be in good shape with a publication in that level of journal. The one that is going to publish me is more of a C or C- journal, and the one that has actually already published an article of mine is more in the D range. Barely acceptable if it were the ONLY publication, but not as bad as part of alist that contains some other works.

The conference was good for the contacts, as well. I need to come up with some names for referees for my P & T packet, and I connected with one that I specific desire to find, and met one or two other who seem possible candidates. One is researching the same area and just got himself tenured, so I am sure he would be willing to help a young pup like me. Next year's job is to ask these folk and actually develop the list. And I found another couple who might be willing to help, as well. Seemed like a nice bunch. Between here and the Chiago conference, I think I made good progress on the "connection" front.

Food was not bad, at all. A good steak one night, and the conference supplied a couple of meals, as well. Then I found a little diner a few streets away for a nice breakfast. All in all, a successful couple of days. Other than having to pretty much strip for security in the airport nowadays, then get redressed, even the flights wer not too bad. Good weather in the air, although it did hail for about twenty minutes when I was awaiting the shuttle to the airport. It was a very odd sight, right there at noon on a Saturday in April, a massive hailstorm . Then the sun came out and all was well, again. Very odd indeed, but I can say that I lived through it, and certainly the timing was fine. I ate a nice Italian meal of stromboli and garlic bread at the airport in St Louis, as well. Pretty good airport food. I had a few hours to kill, and that seemed like a nice way to kill them. I was able to catch a few minutes of March Madness here and there walking by the sports bars, but I was not in the mood for that type of food. Too greasy just before a flight. Oh well, I made it home alive and none the worse for wear.


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