Editing Modernism in Canada


June 7, 2010

The First Meeting

It is finally here!  The bunnies are hopping, the sky is grey, and the sleep-deprived, jet lagged EMiC contingent finally comes together.

After a bit of a rough start with no A/V and an unexplained lost pizza order, when I arrive on scene forty minutes before the meeting, my confidence is slightly shaken.  I dig through my backpack for my “backup” laptop and USB key, and  I interrupt a lady in a chef’s hat.

“Excuse me, but do you know if this room is equipped with A/V?”

Blank stare.

“I apologize, but do you know where I could set up a power point presentation?”

Blink, blink.

“I need to use a computer for this meeting and I need a screen to project the image on.  Do you have any idea who I might contact?”

Mouth starts to fall open.

“Can you tell me where our pizza is?”

“OH!  It’ll be here just after seven.  Sorry about that!”

It’s all good.  I can work with this.

I survey the room, note the large amount of M&M cookies, and I breathe a sigh of relief.  People like cookies.  And, these tables move.  We are good to go.  When Zailig arrives, the number of laptops double.  Megan comes, and now we have three.  From this point forward, it is smooth sailing.

As the participants trickle in, my heart is filled with joy.  They are here, they are happy, and everyone has a bed to sleep in.  My work here (in this regard) is complete.

As we set up “viewing stations” and plug in the presentation on each laptop, I realize that this is a far more communal experience than watching a powerpoint on the big screen.  People huddle together, talking and laughing as the set-up process takes place.  Happy visions of networking and collaboration are made tangible.

Zailig brings the meeting to order after intros have taken place.  He clarifies he is reading Dean’s paper, and then goes straight into it.  Dean’s personal anecdotal remarks are not altered.  Zailig uses Dean’s personal pronoun, much to my delight.  As he regales us as “Dean”, I remember listening to this talk two weeks ago.   Then, I flash back to meeting Dean for the first time at DHSI last year.

What an impressive learning curve this project has experienced in the last year.  If it wasn’t clear before, it is definitely clear now:  Dean is a super-human.  I can’t believe all the work (and heart) he, Megan, Zailig, Vanessa (… and all of you!) have put into bringing Editing Modernism in Canada into its second year, and its second DEMiC.  It is such an exciting time.

Though I have plenty more I could say, I just want to express my delight that you are all here.  It is going to be a great week, and I look forward to visiting with all the DEMiC participants throughout the week.

Goodnight, friends.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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