I'm here for the International Conference on the Future of Cognitive Aging Research. The conference program actually looks interesting, even though I have only an indirect connection to cognitive aging research. At the same time, the indirect connection means that I know virtually no one here. Which leads me to the suspect that this will be one of those conferences where I will spend the "break" and "social" times hiding from people and doing things like this blog post. Ugh, I am so freakishly shy; these things make me feel like I'm thirty-four going on gawky fourteen.
Even if you are somebody who is familiar with small college towns in the middle of nowhere, State College seems to me like it must be the most-small and most-middle-of-nowhere for housing a university of its size and consequence. I flew in on one of those planes in which I had seat 9A and this meant that I was in the next to last row in the only seat on my side of the aisle. Unlike practically all of the flying world, I actually prefer those kinds of planes, solely on the grounds that they carry fewer people and so don't evoke my socially pathological hyperskittishness the way larger planes and their accompanying crowds can.
Incidentally, once you've spent a week taking several trips on Air France, the Spinzels that Northwest hands out during its in-flight food distribution just don't really do it anymore.