Oh, the anticipation of a professional meeting! As I’m walking into to the airport to fly away to the conference, I think of all the times I have done this. I found sociology in 1981 and it quickly became my major. It’s been twenty years since I’ve been out of grad school and I’ve been teaching full time--and going to conferences--ever since.
My first meeting was in the late 1980s in Las Vegas. That first meeting, I gave my first conference presentation. It was terrible. (My presentation, not the meeting.) I was terrified and practiced my talk over and over. Then when the time came to present my paper, I stayed seated and read my paper. By the end I was boring both myself and the audience. Many people were encouraging, supportive, patting me on the back, but, oh, it was so bad.