I attended the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Now I’m back. Here are 25 things about it. (Well, sort of.)
1. The final panel I attended was N.36, Never Mind Geoffery Sirc: A Tribute Panel. It was beautifully weird; I didn’t take many notes. But I did write this, which I think is an exact quote from Jenny Rice: “I know nothing. Absolutely nothing. But I know this: non-knowledge communicates ecstasy.” And during Jeff Rice’s presentation, I wrote this single line, which he might have said or it might be what he made me think of: “Juxtapositions are relationships.”
2. In G.28, “How I Got Open”: Africana rhetorics, literacy, and visions for Contemporary Rhetorical Education, I tweeted this:
3. Featured speakers for E session were DJ Lynnee Denise and Sommer Regan McCoy of the Mixtape Museum. At the end of the session, I grabbed one of DJ Lynnee’s mix CDs, a single long track of African rhythms mixed with funk and house music. It’s impossible to listen to it without hearing an argument: the unspoken claim that there are important similarities between these musical heritages. I can’t help but wonder if I would have heard the argument if I hadn’t heard her speak. (This was a highlight panel for me.)
4. Twice, I ate at Loughmiller’s Pub. I usually try not to do that at conferences. But you know, it was close to the conference hotel. It looks like this:
5. Twice on the first day, I found myself leading sessions related to intellectual property: a morning workshop on IP and fair use in the classroom, and an afternoon caucus meeting (open to everyone, if you’re wondering!) for everyone interested in IP as it relates to scholarship and teaching. It was the 20th anniversary, so I picked up this cake:
6. I don’t think I ate any other cake at the entire conference, except for that cake.
7. In the opening session, chair Adam Banks mentioned time travel:
8. About a month earlier, chair Adam Banks retweeted me when I mentioned time travel:
9. In a paper on Afrofuturism (the panel I mentioned above in #2, but in a talk by Earl Brooks, who was filling in for a speaker who couldn’t be there), we watched the video for Janelle Monáe’s “Tightrope.” The song was in my head just about nonstop after that moment. It’s that good. Then today, I saw her whole ArchAndroid album for $3.99 on Amazon. I bought it.
10. I’m watching Star Wars, kind of, while I type this. Luke just said, “I’m going to finish cleaning those droids,” and then there’s the suns and the music and your heart.
11. The first two times I went to C’s (2007 & 2009), I felt a little awkward, a little out of place. By my third time (2010), I realized I was making friends. This time (my 7th) was friend-tastic: I got to reconnect with a friend from undergrad, friends and professors from graduate school, lots of folks whose work I love, and even a friend who went to my graduate school the year after I left. As an introvert, I kept expecting to get sick of all the friend time and need more recharging time. And yeah, I got exhausted some. But mostly, I ate up the friend-time; it was the highlight of the trip. Like cake that’s so good you drive for five hours just to eat it.
12. Michelle Comstock (in M.21) proved herself to be a sonic boom of a teacher, with her soundscape documentary and sonic memoir projects. I want to take her classes and teach her classes and live a while in her classes.
13. Polysyndeton: “Employing many conjunctions between clauses, often slowing the tempo or rhythm” (via). (“Polly sinned a ton”?)
14. I had a good time playing C’s the Day, the augmented reality game at the conference. Since I won (in 2011, maybe?), I always tell myself I won’t play. But then I can’t help completing a few quests, getting a few stamps, collecting a few cards. There’s something satisfying about the sound of the stamp, that subtle almost-squish of a thump as the ink soaks into the booklet.
15. In D.09, Sounding New Media, Kati Fargo Ahern asked the audience to stand up, make sounds, and then change the sounds in response to her instructions. The room was packed, but we stuffed our bags under our chairs, rubbed shoulders, and played along anyway, loving every second. (It took me a sec, but I pulled up the Moon theme from the NES DuckTales game as my sound.)
16. In the same panel, Amy Riordan’s equally powerful presentation was threatened by dysfunctional speakers. Luckily, sound scholar Jon Stone had some in his backpack.
17. Oh no: Luke just found Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s burnt bodies. I never noticed the skeletons as a child, somehow.
18. Alliteration: “Repetition of the same letter or sound within nearby words. Most often, repeated initial consonants” (via).
19. In notes from CCCC in 2012, I wrote this during Geoffrey Sirc’s talk: “Our field has embraced an ethos of perfection, like music’s dual-side toward perfection or lo-fi, like Elliott Smith.” He might have said or it might be what he made me think of.
20. I was getting over a cold that kind of lingered the whole time I was in Indianapolis. That meant that as a day went on, my voice would get froggier and froggier, to the extent that I even skipped karaoke:
21. The funny thing about Mariah Carey is that I can’t tell how much I love her because of her music and how much I love her because of my memories of loving her music.
22. Cagle and I visited the Rhythm! Discovery Center, an interactive percussion museum. It’s delightful to hit things and hear them. I kept pausing to take pictures and record sounds, but part of me is thinking that it would have been even more fun if I had left my device at the door. Sounds are time-based, something you feel in the moment; isn’t there something odd to try to pause them, to capture them?
23. But I mean really, why does Leia kind of sound British in this movie? And is it glib to say that her use of the accent here reminds me of this point from Keith Gilyard?:
24. In notes from CCCC in 2011, I wrote that Geoffrey Sirc said the only textbook he needs when teaching writing is Richard Lanham’s Handlist of Rhetorical Terms. He said it as if it were obvious, as if everyone already knew that the definition of “good writing” is writing that is powerful, dynamic, full of rhetorical figures, as delightful as cake.