Busy days

March 19th, 2005 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

I’d got quite good (I think) at posting at least daily over the last few months, so even though I’ve only missed two days it feels like a great lapse. It’s not that there haven’t been important things to post – we’ve got the craziness of Wolfowitz’s nomination as head of the World Bank, the success on broadcast translaters that Prometheus (and co.) have secured, and more – but it’s just been a crazy time.

On Thursday I volunteered to give a talk to a Media Literacy class about imagery of the Irish in U.S. media and culture. The opportunity had arisen in light of my comments about ‘Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day’ that I posted about here. So – with a handful of technical glitches – I gave an hour-long talk at 10am and then led discussion sessions at 1pm and 2pm. Then it was home to bake bread and scones, ready for my 6pm St Patrick’s Day party. That went well, but in between the baking I had to run around trying to secure parking permits for our conference the next day (I eventually got them at 9am Friday morning) and finish work on a grant proposal (for our soon-to-be-launched radio station) due on Thursday.

Friday had its own craziness, with a too-early start to chase down the parking permits and work on internet access for the conference (some still unknown problem with the single ‘working’ ethernet port in the conference venue meant this didn’t come together as hope). The conference went well I think, with an interesting, consciously provocative keynote address by Larry Grossberg and a wide variety of interesting presentations by grad students from Urbana and Chicago.

Some of the discussions ran over time – always better than having people stare blankly at each other, I think – so I had to pull my presentation to allow us finish somewhat on time (something we had somewhat anticipated). I’d have liked to give the talk since I haven’t addressed the topic (digital radio and non-commercial broadcasters) in a talk in the United States yet, but better to have to pull my paper than trying to fill extra time at the last minute. Also, it was good to see four other people give policy-based papers, with John Anderson giving a talk on digital radio in the United States and others address WSIS, CWNs and FCC decision-making.

Today’s a little more relaxed, though there was of course a rally here in Champaign to mark the second anniversary of the Iraq war. Some good speakers and I was particularly interested by the representative of Military Families Speaking Out, who spoke not only of the dangers to the US military but noted that “1500 is a lot, but it’s only 1% of the total dead.” Good to see an outward-looking critique, particularly from a group such as this that could so easily concentrate on the ‘safe’ opposition of ‘support our troops.’

I’m heading to Chicago tomorrow, for my Monday afternoon flight to Ireland, so need to figure out, this evening, what books to bring with me. So many books I should bring and read, such small baggage allowances….

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.