This week I find myself at the Banff Centre for the Arts. This is a fabulous educational institute that promotes the arts and humanities, hosts conferences like the one I'm currently attending, holds internships and workshops and generally draws a very cool crowd. I'm writing an academic article on the Centre for a dance history conference here later in June that explores the concept of place attachment in an in-between place like the Banff Centre (not rural but not urban, not commercial but in the public eye, etc). For now though I'm a participant/presenter at a primarily scientific conference for GEOIDE. GEOIDE is a large funding body out of Laval University which supports geomatic technologies and their applications. This conference experience is a long way from the dance scholarship I'll be participating in here in a few weeks.
Hey Dee, there was so much talk about ESRI, GIS and the like that I thought I'd walked into one of your conferences by mistake. Do you know the GEOIDE group? [By the way, my blog stats tell me when you visit so I know you're reading this. I'm watching you!]
I represented our team of UBC researchers in a presentation this morning. It was surprising how nervous I was beforehand - my heart was thudding at an unhealthy pace and I couldn't focus enough to slow it down. I must have been nervous about presenting other peoples' work (my colleagues in Vancouver) but also nervous about audience reception; it's been five years since I presented at a scientific conference and I guess I feel a bit fraudulent being here. Still, there were only mild gasps when I revealed my social science proclivities and the talk went off without too many glitches. There are two prizes being awarded for $2000 to "Communicators of Excellence" that will fund the winner a trip to present their own research at any conference in the world. Considering there were only 16 presenters and many scientists feel totally uncomfortable speaking publicly, my odds aren't too bad. Keep your fingers and toes crossed: There's a kick ass conference for the humanities held in Hawaii every second year that $2000 will more than cover. Hey Rocco, if I win (if, if, if), want to come? I'd pay for your stay...
I'll post more and about something more interesting when the conference is over. Lethbridge is my home for the next couple weeks so you'll be getting the Alberta update. I can't wait to see my friends and their various offspring when I get to the 'bridge after Banff. They can't take up all my time though since that other paper, you know - for the dance conference, has to be read for, developed, laid out, and written before the next conference starts, June the 15th. Ah, the sedentary, solitary life of a wannabe academic!
Wait! I called this post "Great calving elk, Batman"! You're all wondering, "what the f*ck?" Ok, briefly, I'll link the title to the content.
The Banff Centre has extensive lodgings as well as conference facilities, so I'm staying here for the duration of the conference (and the next one in June). In every room they have the usual pleather-bound binder with info about the Centre, food options, the town, etc. This time of year they also include an additional pamphlet, printed on bright red paper with the words "Danger. Be Alert!" across the bottom. What's the big hairy deal, you ask?
Big hairy elk. Across the top of the pamphlet the warning is that "Elk Calving Season Has Begun." The sheet includes tips of what to watch for in an aggressive elk and what the hell to do when the mofo looks directly at you with her ears back, exposes her teeth and shows the whites of her hairy eyeballs: Put a large tree between you and beastie. The female elk are protecting their vulnerable young and you DO NOT want to feel their wrath. This picture is of an elk giving great assface. Sophie could take lessons from this one.
I love Banff. There's that tang of calving elk on the air that really gets my blood up and the whites of my eyes shining!