9.23.2004

 

I'm going to Seattle!

Well, I'm officially going to Seattle for the SMT/AMS conference, whether I can afford it or not. Yay!! This is a joint meeting of the Society for Music Theory and the American Musicological Society. They meet separately in alternate years, but this is one of the years when both groups get together at the same time. Really, there's a lot of overlap, so there are just more people and more paper sessions at the joint meetings (we focus on different aspects of music, but we're all music scholars at the end of the day). I went to the AMS conference in Houston last year, because it was close and Jeannette roped me into riding with her and others, but I really had to think hard about how to swing this year's trip to Seattle. I just got my ticket online this afternoon, so I'm excited.

But I'm not sure if I'm receiving funding from the School of Music yet (to pay for the hotel room and meals), because I just submitted my request today and don't know how much money they have to go around, so that's bad.

But I used US Airways miles to get a "free" plane ticket, so that's good.

But all the coach seats to and from Seattle on the right weekend were sold out, so I had to use 40,000 miles instead of 20,000 miles to get a ticket, so that's bad.

But I get to fly first class, and it's a long flight to Philadelphia and an even longer flight to Seattle, so that's good.

But I now don't have enough miles with any airline to get another free ticket, so that's bad.

But I'm going to SMT and hob-nobbing with the great minds in my field, hanging out with friends and making new ones, and visiting Seattle for the first time, and all of those things make the trip worth it. I perused the preliminary program this afternoon, and I was way interested in SO many of the papers that will be read. One of the other things I get to do to lower costs is to be a student worker to earn free registration (and "a modest stipend"), so I requested to work at a session about Franco-Russian Tonalities that caught my eye. I thought seriously about requesting to work at my advisor's session, which will contain lots of abstract algebra applied to music in various ways, but I decided they might have complex multimedia equipment or something and I might get in over my head as a room monitor. Plus, one of the other guys presenting a paper in that session is from Eastman, and he's the one who scared the poo out of me when I interviewed there such a long time ago. Sigh. He and my advisor are friends, though, so hopefully I'll get over my intimidation and re-meet him. I have a different last name and different hair now, so maybe he won't remember that I didn't know how many piano sonatas Beethoven wrote (32). Another thing I'm excited about is a lunch meeting on Saturday with the SMT Committee on the Status of Women; they sent out an online survey a few months ago to gather thoughts about why there are no women in our field and how we feel about it, so I'm interested to hear their findings and to chat with the men and women who care about lessening the gender gap in music theory.

In closing, I'm very excited that I'm officially going, and I just hope that money comes through from the School of Music.

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