It all began with a breakfast meeting of the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies (SWCRS) board of directors. I was writing about arcane organizations last night for a reason; this one is comprised of officers from all the regional officers that the commission brings together, and has to do things like approve budgets and give awards.
Then I was a panelist in a session on post-Enlightenment theodicies -- just as academic as it sounds -- but unexpectedly (to me, having read the other two panelists' presentations ahead of time), I was not the clearly most unprepared and out-of-her-depth person in the room, and we ended up having a vigorous discussion with maybe even a hint of controversy.
Following a working lunch (catered by the conference, and during which I had a long conversation with the incoming president of the commission, I co-presided over a lengthy (six paper) session, fulfilling my moderator duties -- keeping presenters on time, introducing them, opening the floor to discussion -- quite admirably, if I do say so myself.
Then came the nerve-wracking part of the day. Would enough people show up for the plenary session, for which we had flown a high-ranking officer in our organization and major scholar out from the West Coast? They did, much to my relief. Would her talk be engaging and important? Yes, as I should never have doubted. Would those in attendance engage in lively conversation afterward? Indeed, some of the best I've ever heard at a session of its kind.
After that it was all gravy. Reception, socializing, dinner with the society's executives and our plenary speaker, gossip, heartfelt conversation, a good time was had by all.
I'm ready to do it all again, crammed into a slightly shorter period of time before I leave for the airport in the early afternoon, in about eight hours. Time to set the clocks forward and go to bed. Only a few more official duties, and I can put this one in the record books.