Sunday, May 06, 2007

Weekend Recap

It's nice to be back! The hubby and I got home from Sackville around 5:00 this afternoon, and then went straight out again to return the rental car and see Spider-man 3 (a post on that in a few minutes), so this is the first chance I've had to sit down and catch my breath.

It has been a fun three days. Friday, our MA thesis colloquium, was a really good experience. Everyone was dressed up nicely, we all wrote paper that definitely had a lot of work and creative thought put into them, and it was fun to have a chance to share what we've been working on for so long. The questions and comments that I got were helpful, and it was encouraging to hear professors congratulate us on the quality of our papers. It was a nice way to kick off a summer of thesis writing.

After the colloquium was done, we all headed over to the Grad House for pizza and beer. I've been really lucky to end up in a year here at Dal with some wonderful people, and we all get along well. There are always so many things to talk about! Kate is getting married and moving to Texas, Kirsten is presenting at a conference in Italy, Joy and her husband are moving back to South Korea (and Chris is thinking about it), and Heather wants to work at McDonald's until she saves enough money to go somewhere warm and then think about getting a real job. Lots of stuff going on! It was nice to decompress after a week of preparing and revising our papers. I know that a lot of people get more nervous that I normally do when presenting (after teaching evil 6th graders, I'm kind of immune), so I bet they appreciated the benefits of a cold beer and a place to sit and relax even more than I did.

The hubby came to get me at about 7:00, and we were on the road by 8:00. The place that we stayed in Sackville, Marshlands Inn, was lovely. We had a skylight over our bed, which was a novelty when we arrived, but a nuisance when the sun rose. It looked pretty, though! The actual conference ended up being a lot like the one on Friday: nine speakers, everyone in a small-ish classroom, lots of interesting topics. We all had a good time talking about our projects and all sorts of other random things over lunch, appetizers, dinner, and coffee. I had the best seafood chowder I've ever tasted at dinner. Yum. But it seems now to me that conferences are equally as much about food as they are about words! Giving my paper was a little more nerve wracking than on Friday; my mouth got excruciatingly dry, and that made it a bit hard to talk on occasion, but it went well, I think. And everyone was very supportive and friendly.

Today, the hubby and I had breakfast at Mel's Diner, a place that has remained unchanged since the 1950s. Definitely not in a slick, kitschy faux-50s way: this was the real thing. And breakfast was only $5, so how can you go wrong? Then we went for a gorgeous drive along Chignecto Bay, then across the peninsula and back into Nova Scotia, where we drove through Pugwash, Oxford and Truro before we headed back to Halifax. I love our random drives through little Maritime towns, and I got some great pictures. We just got back from the movies, and now it's time to get ready to get down to the business of getting my thesis written. I feel like Friday's conference got me well on my way, so I'm glad that the PhDs made us do it. We hated them for it, but it was definitely something we needed to do. A lot of the MAs from last year still aren't done, and the faculty are determined it's not going to be that way this year. I'm determined to finish too, so hopefully everyone will be happy.