Thursday, November 03, 2011

the step-12 program for academic success!

The 12-Step Program for Academic Success
Step Six:
Follow these Conference Attending Guidelines


There are two kinds of conferences: extremely large, concurrent-session conferences, and small, plenary session conferences. In larger conferences, more Academic Big Shots attend than in smaller conferences. You do the math.

Rule 1: Go to sessions with the biggest names. Do not attend sessions, or indeed conferences, where less than half of the participants are Certified Big Shots.

Rule 2: Ask questions. Say something in every single session, about every single paper, regardless of whether you understood the paper, have anything to say, have studied or even considered the problem at issue, or paid any attention. In asking your questions, mention books and articles published by the Big Shot who gave the paper, even if you never read them, and even if they weren't about the same topic.

Rule 3: Be noticeable. Sit in a location which makes you clearly visible from every vantage point in the room. Wear eye-catching clothing. Develop a style of dress, a posture, and a way of gesturing that is distinctive and cerebral. Use effusive body-language, whisper to your neighbors.

Rule 4: Be familiar. If you have met a Big Shot even once, say, at a urinal, use the Big Shot's first name. It will appear that you know the Big Shot personally, and no one will question that you have earned the right to this familiarity. By association, then, the audience will conclude that you are at least a quasi-Big Shot yourself.

Rule 5: Ignore the proles. No matter which rung of the ladder of success you stand upon, do not bear the intrusions of the hoi polloi. Turn away; go stand next to Alasdair Macintyre until he notices you.

1 comment:

Robert Kirkman said...

I'd just like to take this opportunity to point out that the Eastern Division APA meeting in December 2012 is in Atlanta.

You wouldn't even have to pay to stay in the Nightmare Vertigo Hotel, er, the Marriott Marquis de Sade, er, the Marriott Marquis with all the Big Shots . . .

That's 2012. Atlanta.