So I went to my first CCCC and for the most part loved it. I definitely want to go and present again, and I feel I learned a lot through this experience. However, there were some meh moments, but I’ll try to really get to both sides of the spectrum.
Most of the sessions I went to were amazing. I attended the whole conference (except the first-timer’s breakfast, I was still en route) and missed about two sessions per day (to eat, look at books, etc). Since I focus myself in technology and composition, I attended almost entirely IT sessions, and I found that almost every session was great. The two Twitter sessions I attended had a lot of great discussion and some thought-provoking material. The gaming session–which is probably what I will explore for next year–unfortunately just had way too many people. They each had great things to say, but when there are eight people or so presenting, there isn’t much you can do. That blame is on CCCC for not making multiple gaming panels. The Writing Center database session was helpful to me since I currently work in a Writing Center and I want to try to convince the department to let us make a database. I have a lot of notes from all the sessions I attended and got a lot of great ideas.
The part that I was slightly disappointed with–or rather, quite disappointed with–was my lack of ability to network with others in the IT “department.” Since there was only 15 minutes between each session and no lunch break or anything where everyone could go out together, I spent most of my time between sessions walking back and forth between the Marriott and the Convention Center. The IT sessions weren’t really congregated in one place, and since I had to walk so much, I didn’t always have time to stay and mingle after a presentation. Also, let me add that I am a Master’s student at Queens College. I’m not on my Ph.D. yet and don’t have a big school that I can turn to for people to hang out with. I know UPenn and some other schools had “mini-events” for those who attended or worked at the school. Which is fine, I would do the same. But I hope NEXT year we can also get an IT “mini-session” and begin to intermingle with people outside of our schools and workplaces.
I guess my largest complaint is the timing of everything. There was no time to really see the exhibitors’ booths, unless you skipped a session, because they closed at the same time as the conference day ended. The 15 minutes between each session is a bit much. On Thursday, I woke up at 4:30am to fly over to Louisville and attended all session times that day except one–for lunch. I was exhausted and didn’t get to fully recuperate and still am not fully recuperated. Personally, I think I would have preferred a day that went slightly longer on Friday/Saturday and have a lunch break. But I don’t know–maybe NCTE had a good reason for scheduling CCCC like that.
I know some people were concerned with the tweeting level at CCCC, expecting there to be more tweets. As several Twitterers mentioned, the lack of free wi-fi in the Convention Center, coupled with horrible 3G reception in the lower level of the Convention Center, made it somewhat more difficult to stay connected. But for some reason, the more I think about it, the more I think that number is pretty appropriate. I’m not into the whole “digital native” stereotype that everyone my age-ish (24) is more connected than a finely knit sweater, especially compared to older generations, but as far as CCCC it may be, for the most part, true. So assuming that already there is a generational gap for Twitter and that the tweeters will probably be the IT people, I’m not too surprised.
Finally–my session. I had approximately 10 people at my session (N.27). Two people were there to see me, I think about four to see my co-presenter, Matt, and the other four, I’m not sure. They may have been there to see Sheri, but they may have been genuinely interested in the topic. I felt a bit bad for Matt. His presentation was focused mostly on time, so how he got with two bloggers, I’m not so sure. We had a couple of questions that I believe we answered well, but that was pretty much that. I’m going to embed a voice-over into my PowerPoint so those of you who are interested in the presentation can listen to it later.
And yes, I know. Every time I make a PowerPoint Edward Tufte kills a kitten. Sorry, lil’ guy, but my prezi wasn’t done in time.