Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This Update is For My Mother, Because I Know She Worries

It seems every time I promise to recount some trip, my present situation gets sufficiently complicated that I need to cut the recounting short to deal with something else. This time, conference discussion will be compressed here on account of comp studies and one of the weirder illnesses I've had. First, because everyone loves hearing about other people's health problems.
Back in the middle of October, I had a raging sinus headache. It was so bad that every now and then, I had to stop whatever I was doing to just concentrate on not screaming in frustration for the pounding in my head to cease. The sinus stuff ended just before the trip to Atlanta, but a bad cough has plagued me since then--so it's been about a straight month of illness. To top it off, I've been pretty lethargic the whole time. So of course, it's only today that I bother to actually seek medical "help." I put the help in quotations because it wasn't particularly helpful. From the examination, the doctor believes that I had some sort of virus and the cough and tiredness are symptoms of what may be an extremely prolonged recovery period. The bad news is that there isn't really much I can do; the good news is that, from the examination, he was pretty confident it wasn't mono or H1N1. So... yay?
The worst part of this is that it's put a definite cramp in my comp studies. Not enough that I think it's really hampered my ability to take the test, but enough that I won't be devoting quite the level of attention to a few of the more challenging texts that I'd like to. That exam, for those counting the days (like me), is on Nov. 27th. So... nine days. Yikes.
So between the lethargy and the studying, I'm not going to have a lot of time for updating. I know, I'm still getting back to speed after a slump, but... well, that slump will have to last a little longer. Expect a new flurry of book reviews, TV commentary, and a weeklong dissection of "The Batman" TV series when I return. For now, here are some truncated thoughts on the Atlanta conference:
--Though the focus on paper of the conference was coding, what everyone in the science/humanity crossover seems most interested in at the moment is animal-human cognitive relations. I feel very ambiguous towards this focus, but I'm putting off articulating those misgivings to a later date.
--My fellow students gave their panel with Katherine Hayles sitting in the front row. That's a big deal.
--Of the conference, the two highlights in terms of panels would have to be Ian Bogost's key note speaker address, and W. H. Mitchell's presentation on images. Those guys know their stuff.
--Atlanta has some of the most courteous servers I've ever seen, even though one waitress repeatedly referred to me as 'ma'am' to the great amusement of all, until someone finally took pity on me and her and pointed out gently that I am, in fact, all man.
--My presentation went fine; amazingly, the math analogy seemed to be the part that everyone liked the best. It was also the part where I set down the paper, and just presented my thoughts as they came, so that's something to keep in mind for the next conference presentation.
--Atlanta looks like a big forest from above. It's weird. But very eco.
--I kind of wish I'd kept the "confused for a woman" story to myself.

There. Sorry, but that's all you get, conference-wise. I'll post again once the sheer panic from comps requires an outlet.

Later Days.


Person of Consequence said...

And now, in hindsight, the mysterious illness I was experiencing was most likely the first flare-up of my asthma. Well, whatever doesn't kill you slightly reduces your quality of life.

Person of Consequence said...

I'd also forgotten that I'd sought medical help for it at this point. That actually makes me feel a little better, since it places some of the blame on someone who is not me.