Just as we arrived at our hotel in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, a (nameless) graduate student I know handed each of us a copy of the "AMS/SEM/SMT NEW ORLEANS 2012 BINGO" card. At the bottom it reads, "Remember to shout 'BINGO!' when you complete a row or column. The louder, the better, especially if you are in a business meeting or plenary session. There are no prizes to be won, and the creator takes no responsibility for any personal or professional consequences of shouting 'BINGO!' in the middle of a session."
Y'all, I came so close to getting Bingo. So close.
Things I got:
- "My question is more of a comment..."
- Conference attendee circling book exhibit with no purpose (I did this myself before seeing it on the card).
- Any discussion of the US presidential election (the conference ended on Nov. 4th, so this happened over and over and over).
- Speaker gets drowned out by musical example playing from adjoining room.
- Anyone with a flight departing Sunday before 7AM.
- Audience member on Facebook or Twitter during a session.
- Senior scholar overly drunk at a reception.
- Conference attendee still wearing name badge while out on Bourbon Street.
- Standing room only at a senior scholar's paper (saw this when Thomas Christensen spoke, but I like to think they were mostly there to see my friend Anna who was on the same panel).
- Technical difficulties with PowerPoint or musical example.
Things I was missing:
- Theorists criticizing presenter's Schenker graph.
- "Seeing as I'm running out of time..."
- Junior faculty gets mistaken for graduate student (this did happen to a friend of mine, but not while I was around).
- Any reference to "musicking."
- Any reference to "the performing body."
- Conference attending completely overdressed for New Orleans weather (I was especially surprised that I did not see this).
- Senior scholar criticizing the New Musicology.
- Three or more office ribbons on a name badge (John and I debated whether this is even possible, I say no - at most, anyone could have two. But I didn't see anyone with two, so it's blank either way).
- Grad student gets burned by senior scholar during question period (I have seen this before, and it's pretty demoralizing, again not naming names. But I was grateful not to see it happen again).
- Any reference to an on-going debate on [society listserves] AMS-L, SEM-L or SMT-talk.
- Audience member hijacks question period to talk about his/her own project (I saw someone hijack a Q&A to talk about the work of one of their dept. colleagues, but I was trying to ruthlessly adhere to the game, so I didn't count this. Otherwise it would have given me a BINGO!).
- Presenter clearly does not understand the theory she/he is citing.
- "That's beyond the scope of this project."
More than once, a graduate student or faculty member would see this Bingo card in my lap as I took real notes during a session, muffled their laughter, and asked me where they could get one of their own. I won't name names, but one of my professors thinks it came from some fairly recent Harvard musicology grads. We may never know.
I also never saw anyone get a BINGO. But maybe next year, in Charlotte, NC...