The Berks

Claire informs me that I have to tell people I’m going to the Berkshires, not “the Berks,” but it is the case that the conference at which I’m presenting this weekend is called the Big Berks.  It’s a very cool, triannual conference for women’s history, and since this year’s theme is “Generations,” Astrid Henry pulled together a roundtable on third wave feminism, and I get to take part.  I gotta say, when Rory Dicker and I took the opportunity to include Astrid in Catching a Wave, we made such a smart decision!  Not only because her piece was great, but because she’s been a fabulous professional resource for me, as well as a friend.

At any rate, I’m now in Amherst, MA, for the weekend.  I’m teaching a graduate class this summer on 19th century American women’s writing, and I feel like I should be doing some sort of live tweeting or something for my graduate students, because Sojourner Truth lived here (we just had a class session about her!), along with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Emily Dickinson, who gets so much attention that we aren’t even considering her in my class.  Damned over-publicized Emily Dickinson.

I have to say that motherhood has added some new twists to traveling.  On the one hand, being in a hotel room by myself is so unbelievably luxurious these days that I almost can’t imagine anything more luxurious.  Why would anybody pay for an extra-fancy hotel?  Just the room that’s all mine is fantastic!

On the other hand, as our plane was taking off, a grade school kid a few rows back from me started crying—he was clearly in pain, like maybe his ears weren’t popping or something—and pow!, just like that my eyes were filled with tears, and I had to make a concerted effort to distract myself.

Fortunately, Maybelle does great with transitions, and as I told her goodbye this morning, she cheerfully followed me onto the porch—wearing only her diaper—and said “Bah bah!” in her delightful Southern accent.


Anonymous said...

Heyyyyy.... you are less than an hour away from me! Lots of t-storms but at least the nights are going to be cool! Awww... what am I talking about - you've got air conditioning!
Sounds like fun - I always tear up when I leave my daughter.

Alison said...

Less than an hour away?? I'm sorry we won't get to meet up!

For the most part we've got air conditioning, although some of the rooms on campus don't, and it was a bit warm today.