- For me there was too much textual criticism this year. Four official NTTC sessions; two on editions (UBS5; IGNTP); two on textual issues in Mark; two on papyrology (which both included NT mss). With so much on we all had to pick and choose which sessions to go to, which meant some sessions lacked critical mass and some TC friends I barely even saw to talk to throughout the conference. It also meant there was not much time to go to sessions on subjects I teach.
- I was pleased that my own presentations (on Mark in Sinaiticus and P113) both went OK, with no computer problems. After last year's SBL I resolved to buy a decent laptop and learn how to do a decent powerpoint-style presentation. From this year I think I will resolve to continue with this style - with highly visual things like manuscripts it makes such good sense - although given the experience of some of presenters (two I went to had projection problems), I shall resolve in future to also have a decent back-up plan in case the technology doesn't work.
- I enjoyed meeting up with people to share meals with them. I had several organised before-hand and others organised or spontaneous at the conference. At last year's SBL I had the impression of meeting hundreds of people in a 'networking' kind of manner - many brief conversations which were generally superficial and publication oriented. So in repentance of superficiality I resolved this year to avoid all receptions and sit down for meals with individuals and small groups. On the way over I was praying about having ten substantial conversations rather than a hundred superficial ones. This may have been an over-reaction, but worked for me. So thanks to Rikk, Don, Dan, John, David, Simon, Tommy, Jan, Peter, Peter, Rick and Alanna, who shared themselves, and in some cases food, with me this time (I have the distinct impression that I have left someone out of this list so apologies in advance).
- I really appreciated some things in a new way. The militarisation of American society, the awesomeness of air-craft carriers, the attitudes to service of American waiters and waitresses, the Californian surf beaches (specifically the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ocean Beach - where I had a great breakfast on the pier; Coronado's bike path and the Silver Strand Beach - where I had a great paddle; and Imperial Beach - where I had an all-American breakfast in a greasy-spoon cafe). Thanks to the friendly bloke in the bike-hire place on Fifth Avenue for kitting me out with a great bike for the duration of the conference (the bike and waking up at 5am meant I was able to see a lot of San Diego and the surrounding beaches before the proceedings began in the mornings). I wasn't able to get to the more northerly beaches at any time warm enough to join in the body surfing (nor did I see any really tempting monster surf).
- This year, unlike last year, I took advantage of the weak dollar against the pound the spend a portion of my book allowance on some good books. Mostly general NT, commentaries, and things useful for teaching, and a large-print NA27 for my tired eyes.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
SBL San Diego: Random Reflections
I arrived back from SBL yesterday and made it in to work this morning for a supervision. I shall post later on some of the sessions I went to. Some general thoughts first: