Saturday, March 13, 2010


It's been a long, long day, but a very successful one. I'm heading into the lost hour of Daylight Savings Time thinking that almost everything that might have caused me stress is behind me, and went well.

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.

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