What with the difficulty of the job market, the expected financial difficulties in the Tondro household, and the initial skepticism with which my book proposal was greeted by University Press of Mississippi, I went to this year's PCA conference in a pretty pessimistic mood.
But in fact I found the conference surprisingly invigorating. Indeed, despite a grueling schedule of some twenty panels, I think this may have been -- on a personal level -- the best PCA conference ever. In previous years, I had so much work on my plate from seminars, exams, and the dissertation that I went to PCA without much conviction. I could share whatever I was doing, but I was not there to learn. I mean, really, who had time for that? But now all those things are behind me, and I listened to panels and papers with new eagerness.
Many of these papers were on topics which I had opinions on, which will come as a surprise to none who know me, but now I can actually write on them, which I never had time to do before. Among my pleasant surprises at the con was the agreement of Kate Laity to co-edit an essay collection with me, on the subject of Shakespeare & Comics. I am reserving the Tempest, because darn it, it was my idea.