Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Few Days in Tulsa

Greetings faithful blog readers,

Brendan and I returned late last night from the annual SCMLA conference. This year's conference was in Tulsa, OK; Brendan and I have never been to Oklahoma, so we were excited to check out a new place and see our friends. SCMLA is a yearly grad school reunion of sorts for us. We love meeting up with friends now living all over the place (Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida), and we've met so many McNeese students from different years. SCMLA is definitely a conference I look forward to participating in every year (this was my 8th year presenting) because there is so much variety. I've presented on many topics from reading my own fiction to presenting my research in science fiction, teaching freshman composition, metafiction, and gothic literature. The conference always leaves me with a lot to think about and never fails to be a worthwhile experience. This year's conference felt especially busy. Between the friends that were there, we all went to a lot of back to back panels to see each other present.

We definitely have a work hard, play hard mentality when at SCMLA. After arriving late Wednesday, we stayed up for drinks with Rita, one of our mentors/professors from grad school. Then, we were up early to see our friend and fellow fiction MFA alum, Scott, read a short story. After that, we rushed through lunch before the teaching freshman composition session I was chairing and Rita was presenting on. Next, Brendan and I both presented in different sessions (Science Fiction for me and Gender and Race for him). After such a long day, we were all hungry and tired. Luckily, one of my students had made some recommendations: Bohemian Pizza and Hodges Bend Bar. We took an Uber to the pizza place, and conveniently, the bar was right across the street. It was a great evening!



The next day was just as busy at the conference: three sessions in a row that left us tied up from 1-6. We started the day by eating breakfast inside of Mathis Brothers furniture store (we were in suburbia, and the closet thing to us was chain restaurants and a shopping mall). The cafe was called Sponz and was actually really good and reasonably priced. After our long day, we did a big group dinner at The Vault, which used to be an old bank. The food was so/so, but the atmosphere and company was wonderful. We spent the rest of the evening bar hopping and checked out five different bars or so. The group favorite was The Max Retropub, which had a bunch of arcade games. I love any excuse to play skee ball and get my fortune told by Zoltar and watch Nightmare on Elm Street. Any child of the 80s would be happy in here. We ended the night back at Bohemian Pizza and Hodges Bend (great patios for having conversations and being able to hear each other) before catching an Uber back to the hotel around 2:30!

The final day, things wrapped up at the conference early and we went for a delicious lunch with friends at Prairie Brewery. Brendan was very excited about his beer flight and the infamous prairie bomb.


We walked to Glacier chocolates afterwards, and I picked out sets of several chocolates for Brendan and I to savor throughout this week. I'm looking forward to trying Island Spice, PB&J, Strawberry Champagne, Banana Split, Limoncello, and PB Cayenne. We caught an evening flight home and as usual, had a great experience (as great as flying can be) with Southwest Airlines. These days, I'm sad whenever we aren't flying Southwest!

Today is hitting us hard. We're both exhausted, but we know we have to get it together and gear up for week 7 of the semester. Brendan wins spouse of the day for grabbing a few essentials at the store and making dinner. I love that man!

Hope everyone had a fun weekend.
<3





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