I am back from my conference AND I have a new phone that is fully operational (and according to my Dad-- much better sound quality)! Things went well... I am feeling better about the paper I submitted and fortunately have until the end of the year to get the rest of my interviews and to clean up my draft. Fortunately the ideas were on as far as what they wanted, so once I start filling in the gaps in my research I should be good to go. Clearly everyone who told me not to sell myself short was right. Go team!
It was good to meet so many historians, archivists and folklorists who share my interest in oral history! I learned a lot and feel like I am definitely on the right track career-wise. As I had been having some doubts and considered chickening out on the PhD front, that was really affirming and I actually feel excited to apply for programs. It was nice to see the kinds of possibilities outside of the typical teaching track and to hear about so many interesting projects. It was kind of daunting to be the young buck in the room but people seemed impressed that I was so interested in the field at such an early point in my graduate work and were really supportive. Despite some quirks (no coffee! killer!), our hosts at BYU were gracious and took good care of us. I mean seriously, all those tasty free meals and a really deluxe, gigantic hotel room with an exceptionally soft comfy mattress? Thank you LDS tithepayers!
It was really cool to get to exchange ideas with so many experts and to get to brag about all the projects going on where I work. After hearing about problems at other universities, I feel happier with my own department and to have so many opportunities where I work (including getting a little private contracting job to transcribe for the University TV station!). So things are good, very good, on the oral history front... now it's back to research and trying to pony up some interviews and some cash so I can go to the Oral History Association conference in October!
Also... this magazine was in my hotel room. If you ever wanted proof that Provo is another planet, this is it:I love how they are still calling Romney a would-be first lady in their August issue... proof that Utah county is still not on board with McCain! :P