Thursday, April 05, 2007

dispatch from salt lake city

byu protest
(photo of the Cheney protest at BYU -- note the sign that says "Enter to learn, go forth to TORTURE")

So, thanks to Brayden's invitation to give a talk at BYU, I can now cross Utah off my list of states from which I've blogged.* I'm staying overnight tonight at the airport Hilton in Salt Lake City, and the temptation to go rent a car and drive to the Wyoming border is almost overwhelming.

Turns out my talk was the same day as apparently the biggest protest in recent years at BYU, against the forthcoming appearance of Dick Cheney as BYU's commencement speaker. About a half hour before my talk, Brayden and I went downstairs to check out the protest. I left my bag inside the open conference room where the talk would be. Brayden hesitated for a moment before leaving my bag there, but then decided it was okay. Me, I thought, "Come on, what's there to worry about? This may be Crazy Civil Disobedience Day, relatively speaking, but this is still BYU."

Anyway, I got back to the conference room and discovered my laptop was gone. So then I was simultaneously panicked about my impending presentation and thinking that this would make a pretty good cocktail party anecdote. As it happened, I was just confused and had left my laptop in Brayden's office, even though I had no reason to have hauled my bag down to the conference room in the first place except it contained my computer.

The talk went okay, especially considering how little sleep I've gotten the last few days. Perhaps I could have used some caffeine beforehand. The person who gave me a ride from the airport graciously asked if I had any caffeine needs to be taken care of before entering BYU's campus (which is a caffeine free zone), but I passed with the idea that if BYU was nice enough to bring me in to speak, I could caffeine-fast for the day. That lasted all the way until the off-campus lunch.

* Updated list:
MissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahoma
OregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennessee
TexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWashington, D.C.
West VirginiaWisconsinWyoming


Tina said...

I wonder for how many potential faculty hires the caffeine-free issue is a deal breaker.

"Well, I'm all for respecting religious beliefs, but no coffee in my 8am lecture? Sorry, I'll pass."

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the talk was entertaining.

Gwen said...

I cannot *believe* you were in Utah and didn't tell me. You are dead to me.

Dan Myers said...

That would've been a deal breaker for me as a student too. Of course, so would a lot of other things...but I clearly wouldn't have any of my degrees without caffeine.

Anonymous said...

So, no soft drinks, tea etc. etc.? What do they drink besides water?

Brayden said...

For the record, I drink more caffeine than the average person and I have never been pulled over by campus police. Used Diet Coke cans are scattered across my desk. What Jeremy is referring to is the fact that you can't buy caffeinated beverages on campus, but many students and faculty that I know regularly drink caffeinated sodas (although not coffee) without shame.

BTW Jeremy, I forgot to tell you that Wendover, Nevada was just a two hour drive down the freeway that you took to get to your hotel. Oh, the crazy blog entries that could have been....

jeremy said...

I didn't know about the caffeinated soda vs. coffee distinction.

I'm confident that I will get to Nevada (Las Vegas!). Wyoming and Idaho are harder to see when they would happen, since I didn't do the impromptu road trip.

Kieran said...

I see we have an incentive to get you out to Arizona for a talk.

As for the caffeine at BYU, it's a good thing Brayden can smuggle in the scotch in his hip flask.

teppof said...

Jeremy: Great to have you out to BYU! (And, sorry for the barrage of questions throughout your presentation {which was great!]...I was not aware of sociology presentation norms until after...)

Anonymous said...

I had an underground caffeinated soda distribution going when I was a grad student at BYU...good times...