Sunday, December 6, 2009

AAA's Student (Or Lack Thereof) Saturday

I was planning on tweeting about Student Saturday yesterday but I've decided against it, not because I was lazy, but I was generally underwhelmed by it. Fully acknowledging that this is the first Student Saturday organized by AAA, I still think that they should have planned a session where all the students can mingle (with a cash bar of course). For a first timer like me, it seems that the convention has too much going on at one time but I soon realized I should have dropped by the day before to pick up the itinerary and plan my day. By the time I walked in to the convention, I had missed both sessions (one about how to sell yourself with your CV and one about getting published) that actually made me want to go to Student Saturday. Bummer!

The graduate school fair was lack luster but this is also due to the fact that my interest lies in primatology, not the other "prominent" anthropology fields that AAA seems to represent. Most of the graduate schools that are present did not have any primatology program or their primatologists are not at the convention. But still, an opportunity to network is still an opportunity to network. Next to the graduate school fair was the book fair, which was more exciting for me to peruse. Surprisingly enough, I manage to find a book about Bigfoot! I also met a nice older lady who was wo-manning the "Gerontology" table (sorry I forgot your name!). We strike up a conversation about gerontology in primates and I told her about the newly published paper by Nakamichi, et al. (2009), which I also blogged last week. I realized that of all the people I spoke with at the convention, she was the only person I had an interesting conversation with.

All in all, Student Saturday was just another day at the AAA convention where they let us, lowly students, pay a small fee to join the festivities and mingle with the anthropological gods. I wish that they had planned sessions specifically for students or at least a reception or a meet-and-greet. Although to their credits, the itinerary does indicate sessions that might be interesting for students. But seriously, where are all the students? Maybe it's just that this is our first time at the convention and once we get a flow of it, things will be much more interesting. Maybe.


Anonymous said...

The AAA are generally not attended by biological anthropologists. You'd be better off going to the AAPA or ASP meetings.

Raymond Vagell said...

Hi Beastape. Yea, I might plan trip to AAPA and/or ASP's meeting next year but that would mean I need to fork out a large sum of money for travel, lodging and registration fee. Philadelphia is close to NYC and cheap to get to. Although I guess I'm a member of ASP, the registration would be much cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Hey! There is a student mixer actually, but it wasn't on student saturday. There is also an orientation for students to the AAA, but it is on Wednesday-- which makes sense for students who are there all week but not for those who just attend on student saturday. Since this was the first year we offered this, and as it was a bit of an experiment, I'd love any feedback you have so that we can improve it next year. Jason Miller, AAA Executive Board Member, Student Seat,

Raymond Vagell said...

Thanks, Jason.