Be Prepared to Make Some Tough Choices
Thursday, December 17, 2015
There’s a line in an old James Taylor song that says, “Seems like I was born with too many choices” – and that is exactly how conference-goers may feel next April in Orlando! Indeed, there may even be disappointments if two or more presentations you’d like to attend are scheduled at the same time.
Why does this busy schedule happen? There are over 20 rooms reserved for presentations at the beautiful Hilton Orlando Hotel, and there are ten thirty-minute time slots for presentations per room each day, depending on whether the events are colloquia, papers, or roundtables. There will also be six different sessions devoted to poster presentations – one on Saturday afternoon (April 9), one in the morning and one in the afternoon of both Sunday and Monday (April 10 and 11), and one on Tuesday morning (April 12). The posters will be available for viewing for three hours, and the poster presenters will be present to explain their work during the longer coffee breaks.
There are several strategies for choosing among the plethora of interesting presentations running simultaneously. Some conference-goers choose to focus on a particular topic – e.g., if you are working on a research project, you may wish to attend sessions that are closely related to your research. Or if you are teaching and find you must prepare for a new course, you could focus on sessions related to that course.
On the other hand, you may have an interest in a particular presenter or group of presenters, such as the sociocultural theorists. You will be able to search the program for presenters’ names. Another approach is to get a broad overview of the field by attending sessions dealing with a wide range of topics.
We strongly suggest that you pace yourself and plan to have some fun as well. In addition to all the AAAL sessions you can attend, the Hilton Orlando Hotel has a beautiful outdoor pool, and in April the average temperatures in Orlando are between the low 60’s and the mid-80’s Fahrenheit, or between 16 and 30 degrees Celsius. There is also a water attraction called “The Lazy River,” in which hotel guests can enjoy “tubing” – i.e., drifting along in an inner-tube. The hotel gymnasium is open 24 hours. You can click here to learn more about the amenities at the hotel.
All in all, the 2016 AAAL Conference promise to be both academically and professionally enriching, and – if you pace your and plan well – it can be relaxing and fun too! We look forward to seeing you in sunny Orlando.
—Tim Marquette, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
— Kathleen M. Bailey, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey