Friday, March 10, 2006

AAG: Friday Morning Update

I'm here at the Association of American Geographers 102nd Annual Meeting in Chicago. I attended some good sessions yesterday, spent time with friends, and saw the downfall of western civilization.

Paper Sessions: I saw two outstanding talks yesterday. The first one was by Dr. Francis Galgano of the United States Military Academy. He spoke about A Geographical Analysis of Ungoverned Spaces. The second speaker was Dr. Brian Doyle also of the United States Military Academy. Dr. Doyle spoke about The Future of NATO and the EU by comparing the two with various factors. Both presentations were excellent and eye-opening. I am formally asking both Drs. Galgano and Doyle for copies of their paper/power point presentations so I may share them with you and do TDAXP-style analysis.

Friends: I encountered two friends that I was looking for completely by random. We spent a good while (re-)exploring Chicago. As a former DC resident I was quite miffed that the Shedd Aquarium costs $25 per person for admission. Rip-off!

Downfall of Western Civilization: First off many attendees are just plain rude here at the AAG. People will open doors, get-up, sit-down, and cause other distractions while speakers try to give a presentation. Many people also have the problem of not wanting to turn-off their cell phones. Come on people!

Against my better judgment I attended the All-Texas Geography party on Thursday. Looking back on it I have to ask what is the deal with college culture (both for students and professors) which encourages such gluttony of alcohol? (Note: I do not drink not because of moral reasons but because alcohol taste horrible. This allows me to watch people descend into madness while I remain clear of mind.) A massive amount of people had well over six beers and were chugging along in drinking games. All of them were acting like jerks.

And it’s more than a one time thing. One of my roommates at the hotel will drink himself drunk from 9 P.M. to 4 A.M. and come in the hotel room making more noise than a confused hippo. He wonders around with the lights on until he collapses and begins to snore so loud that it has to be a medical problem. At 6 A.M. his live-in girlfriend calls and he decides to answer the phone drunk and yell into it while we try to sleep.

Manners anyone?


Anonymous said...

I was also at the Texas party, but saw none of what you describe. I suppose that's because (not being a big fan of beer, even when I don't have to pay for it) I chose to buy my own drinks and (mostly) to chat with the UK contingent in the other room. All good fun. We were all a bit worse for wear and got home a bit late though, despite some people having to present at 8am.

Catholicgauze said...

The pool table was the area of my disguse. I just wanted to play a game of pool with a friend but we were constantly pestered by drunks (both students and an LSU prof).

Anonymous said...

ah, i went nowhere near the pool table. they probably just thought they were being friendly - or they might have wanted a game. it's amazing how much people let their hair down when offered free beer!