Writing left handed

Of Cheesecake, Waffles and Waffling

WaffleI really don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to professional organizations and their associated conferences.  Over the years, I’ve learned the basics (ie. you need to pace yourself during those hourly coffee breaks and you should never sleep in the nude if there’s even the slightest chance of a fire drill) but I’m still trying to come to grips with academia—hence my constant dithering over whether to focus on writing or going back to school for my PhD.

Despite last month’s post about how uninspiring I tend to find academic conferences, I know they comprise a necessary evil on the path to scholastic success.  Plus, they can be fun, especially if the hotel has a make-your-own waffle station or you find a pair of German grad students with whom to hit the nightclubs.

Sometimes conferences have really good food too—I had three slices of cheesecake during the opening reception of the Society of Dance History Scholars Conference in London last summer—and scores of artistically inclined academics always make for great people watching.

Last but not least, if you’re dumb enough to spend a month’s salary on airfare, conference registration, transportation and accommodations (as I was when I attended the Congress on Research in Dance Special Topics at Florida State University this past January) there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself able to:

  • Spend fifteen minutes jumping on your very own king-sized bed
  • Eat ice cream for dinner
  • Drink five cups of coffee before lunch
  • And finally—last but not least—make your own waffle (clearly the make-your-own-waffle station left a great impression on me; I think all conferences should have make-your-own waffle stations—imagine what we could accomplish if everyone started the day with a pecan-infused, chocolate-topped, custom-built DIY waffle!)

Unfortunately, you can also do some really un-cool stuff at conferences.  Waking up at 4:00am to catch a taxi to the airport and presenting a condensed version of your MA thesis to a room full of strangers only to spend the next fifteen minutes trying to defend yourself against an old timer with a bug up his *ss are amongst my personal favorites.

But I’m a glutton for punishment.  And even though I keep telling myself I need to cut down on all of the superfluous distractions in my life (ie. going back to school for my PhD) something prompted me to submit another abstract.

So I did—three paragraphs on the social history of rhythm tap and its implications for tap pedagogy (and if that’s not boring enough, the conference in question is being co-sponsored by the Congress on Research in Dance and the Society for Ethnomusicology… I happen to find this stuff fascinating but I understand if the majority of you have fallen asleep by now—no hard feelings).

I thought my proposal was solid, but then six months went by and I didn’t hear anything so I figured, “Okay—this is a sign.  Stop messing around in dance research and finish writing that damn book that everyone’s been telling you to write!”

But then I got an email from the conference chair: I’m in.

Fortunately the conference isn’t until November; this gives me plenty of time to stock up on coffee and you know… actually write the paper I’m supposed to present.

I hate when this happens.

And now, for today’s question:

Do you read this blog because you know me personally and you like to see what I’m up to or simply because you stumbled upon this craziness randomly and like what you found?

44 Responses to “Of Cheesecake, Waffles and Waffling”

  1. Zak

    Randomly stumbled upon this craziness and like what I found. A lot.

    • Zak

      I should add: this is one of the only blogs I read as soon as it comes out, unless I can’t. Most of the others I follow take me a while to catch up.

  2. 2blu2btru

    I’m a stumbler. I have never been to Pennsylvania in my life, and I can’t dance a lick, but I like the way you write. 🙂

  3. Jenn

    I know you! But I would read it even if I didn’t because I love your writing style.
    Also, congrats on being accepted to present your stuff! I’m applying in August to present at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences conference in Georgia in Feb. Ahhhh!

    • Kat Richter

      Ooh good luck Jenn! PS: I just helped my dad pick out a card for your graduation party and you are so going to love it! Wish I could be there 😦

  4. Mia

    Randomly stumbled – I enjoy reading your blog as a segue into my workdays.

  5. Jess

    Mainly because I know you and I love to know what’s happening in your world. (If all my friends had blogs that delivered their life to my inbox, I’d be much better at keeping up with people.) That said, if I had time to read random blogs, yours would still be at the top of my list. It’s fun to read.

  6. Laurie Block Spigel

    I count myself very lucky that I know you personally because I am far too preoccupied to have stumbled onto your blog and I LOVE reading it! And everyone I tell about it agrees with me!

    Congrats on the conference! Personally, I think that the social implications of rhythm tap are very important! I can hear the code of those tapping feet in my imagination right now. How I wish I could see your performances!

    Keep tapping away, at the computer keyboard, at the conferences, on the stage, in front of those pesky little students, and at the heart of date number seven!

    • Landlord

      come in September to see her Fringe show…room and board are included 😉

  7. chauffeur

    I have known you a pretty long time (since day two) and lately I get to see you often,… I generally read your blog on my phone, even before I get out of bed each day.

  8. Jennifer Clarke

    I think that I may be one of the few family members outside of your immediatly family that reads you on a daily basis. Reading your blog is quite entertaining and has become a sort of adicction like watching reality tv. Plus, being that we didn’t grow up that close I am hoping that we can be closer as grown ups. XXOO

  9. Debbie

    Come on… Jump into PhD land with me! You know you want to…

    • Kat Richter

      Don’t temp me! Plus, I won’t have anywhere to where my new Jomar bathing suits if I move back to the UK 🙂

  10. Fiercely Yours

    I stumbled upon you at a conference and made a note to check out your blog because of the way you lit up when talking about your site. I’ve remained a follower and read it daily because your words make me laugh, give me new things to think about, and fuel my own motivations. It’s a nice addition to my morning routine.

  11. amanda

    I read the blog cause I find your insight interesting. And I know you too thanks to the store!

  12. Hannah J. Holmes

    Random. I don’t know you personally. But you probably knew that already 🙂 I think you sponsored 20sb bloggers for a little while? I remember I was maintaining a dance blog at that time, and was having trouble finding other dance blogs. I noticed the tap shoes in your ads and clicked. (This was back in March, and I’ve read each daily post ever since.)

  13. Brazilian

    I know you personally and like your writing style. Its a good way to start the day.

  14. Ciiku

    I found the blog through freshly pressed. Subscribed and have been reading ever since.

  15. Carolyn

    Stumbled upon because of Freshly Pressed. Got hooked, read all the entries I had previously missed, and never looked back from there. Your writing sucks people in!

  16. kortni24

    I blame Jenn! lol. You happen to be family friends with one of my best friends, and we lived vicariously through you during most of the experiment (thanks for that, by the way!).

    Also, congrats on the acceptance. That’s awesome!!!

  17. sarahnsh

    Yeah, I stumbled across your blog and it’s one of my favorites to read when I wake up and check out my subsciptions. I had one writing conference I went to, and it was quite a strange experience, I got absolutely no writing done, and it was a ton of money… which my mom paid for since I just turned 18.

  18. girlinblues

    I’m too lazy to write at this hour, so I’ll just say, it was exactly the same for me as for Zak.

  19. amy mac

    I stumbled upon it randomly and now I FEEL like I know you personally and want to see what you’re up to…creepy? 🙂 Consider it props for your writing!!

  20. The prof

    I know you but would not bother reading the blog if I did not enjoy it! You write with gusto, it is fun as well as thoughtful. Continue!

  21. Lost in France

    Another random stumbler.
    But your writing style leaves me wanting to read more.

    As for conference papers, Hope it goes well. They can be a challenge to write. Having to follow the pages of do’s and dont’s I would imaging being a challenge for you. Just hope their restrictiveness does not hife your natural writing style

  22. stevesw

    Stumbled upon this craziness via another blog (not sure which one)and Ilike what I found.

  23. Genevieve

    I found your blog when it was Freshly Pressed a few months ago and have been reading it every day since then. I always look forward to your post in the morning, and you’ve been an inspiration for me to start the post-a-day challenge with my own blog.

    Thank you, and keep it up!

    • Kat Richter

      I’m so glad, Genevieve– the Post-a-day-challenge is indeed a challenge! I’ll have to take a gander to see how you’re doing 🙂

  24. Catherine

    Randomly stumbled during your first Freshly Pressed. But is it weird to say that I feel like I do know you? 🙂


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