Posted November 23, 2009on:
My feelings about SBL in general have not changed since the last time I went in 2006. There’s an awful lot of self-promotion and self-aggrandisement going on, not to mention the profiteering in the exhibition hall. However, I have to admit that I have enjoyed myself a lot more this time. Mainly this is because I know more people and have had more things lined up to fill the time. So, here’s my summary of how it went:
Friday: On the same flight from Philly to New Orleans as my former PhD advisor. Lots of time to catch up while waiting for the airport shuttle bus to our hotels. Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar discussing Ellen Davis’s book, ‘Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture’. Interesting discussions at the seminar and also over dinner, where I was at a table with another HTC student and a guy who is at Tyndale House.
Saturday: Started very early with the Tyndale House American Alumni breakfast. I checked everyone in, got to eat the breakfast, then had several useful conversations about the Tyndale Fellowship and Tyndale House. I think quite a lot of people appreciated having the chance to talk to someone on the admin staff, as well as the research fellows. In the afternoon, I gave my paper. I think that probably needs its own post. Dinner with old friends in the evening.
Sunday: Went to hear a friend’s paper in the morning and then we went for lunch together afterwards. Some interesting papers in the Hebrew Poetry section in the afternoon. In the evening, I’d arranged to meet a friend at the King’s College reception – these receptions with free food and drinks are excellent things for poor students.
Monday: Chatted to the Masons this morning, then went to a cookery demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cookery. The chef was Big Kevin (who some of my British readers may remember from the TV series Big Kevin, Little Kevin on BBC2 a few years ago). He was both hilarious and an excellent cook. We had biscuits with dark, thick cane syrup, then red beans and rice, cornbread, pecan pie and pralines. It was all delicious and I really shouldn’t have had seconds of everything but it was just too good to resist. Today was the first day it’s been sunny since I arrived in New Orleans, so after lunch I went for a walk along the river and a little bit around the French Quarter. This evening, I’m going to a dinner that John Hobbins has organised, and then tomorrow I’ll be flying home.
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