"In many disciplines, for the majority of graduates, the Ph.D. indicates the logical conclusion of an academic career." Marc Bousquet

Monday, February 27, 2012

Not Going to the Conference

In case you missed it, I've been bloviating about being invited to present at a conference for the past 6+ months now. Over those months, I put some time into thinking about what I wanted to present and sketched out an outline for the paper. I shrugged off the cost by putting off actually booking the hotel room and flights. I had a ballpark idea of what I'd be out-of-pocket, but I rationalized spending this amount because my conference travel was always funded in the past. I figured one last hurrah on my own dime would be worth it. And plus, I really was looking forward to going.

But ... this past weekend, I spent some more time thinking about the paper ... and then forced myself to confront the actual booking of travel. And ... the end result was, with credit card in hand, I decided it wasn't worth it. Not that my paper wouldn't be good or that I wouldn't have a good time ... just that I can think of better things to do with $750. A lot of them.

Like buying a pair of these little beauties:

Manolo Blahnik Colorblock Spectator Sandal $945
Kidding!! (Sort of...)

And that would be just the airfare and hotel. What about food, drinks, and cab fare to and from airports? It would end up costing almost $1000 for spending 3 days in a city I'd otherwise never go to present a 20 minute paper to, most likely, an audience of fewer than 20 people?? Even if I thought this would somehow open up magical networking opportunities to relaunch my academic career (and, trust me, I'm not that delusional!), what was I thinking???

So, I emailed the panel chair a little while ago with a lame excuse involving my "day job." And that's the end of that frivolous fantasy -- about as worthwhile as a ridiculously expensive pair of pretty pink shoes you can't walk more than half a block in.

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