Saturday, 17 September 2011

Professional (and inevitably personal) memories

I have a visitor this weekend who brings a long chain of memories. We met first time at the IRSCL conference in Paris in 1991, which is, it occurs to me now, exactly twenty years ago. I had read the paper, which was circulated in advance, and was interested in the topic and made a mental note that I must go and listen to this paper and get to know the person, who also was from a university where I knew somebody (a good conversation opener: "You must know XX...") By that time I was almost a veteran of IRSCL, was running for the Board and knew quite a few people. It was that kind of conference I strongly dislike, where people stay in different hotels, the sessions are at two venues, and there are no organised meals. One day some people of the old Board and the incoming Board we sitting in a pavement cafe at lunchtime, and I saw this colleague walking past with the expression on her face that I recognised from my own previous experience: Here I am, I don't know anybody, nobody knows me, everybody knows everybody else, and they all go out for lunch together while I am all on my own... So of course I called and invited her to join us. We have been good friends ever since.

In fact, two years later, when I was running for President and was looking around for new Board members I told myself: This is a person I think I could work with. The election committee asked her, and she said yes. So we worked close together on the Board, which implied Board meeeting twice a year here and there and everywhere over the globe, including Stockholm, Pretoria, San Diego and York, UK; and of course we also met at other conventions, and then worked within the Nordic Network, and - now I cannot keep it anonymous anymore, we wrote a book together. But this is another story.

I have already written about my separation anxiety from IRSCL, but these days I am overwhelmed by the memories, and I hope the present IRSCL Board has just a much fun as we had all those years ago in the Ice Age.

1 comment:

Cornelia Rémi said...

Greetings to Carole (and everyone else), enjoy the Tübingen conference! I wish I could come (I had some nice ideas for a presentation on picturebooks & performativity), but I really, really have to work on other things right now ...