This was the symposium that my advisor wanted to hold when he realized that he now has four students of Jewish music, which is enough for a conference committee. We've been working for months to put together space, speakers, a concert, kosher catering for all day long, and a keynote address. It came right down to the wire, but we pulled it off!
Not to say that there weren't a few bobbles; somehow, the date was inadvertently omitted from the poster, but that didn't really matter, because we didn't post the poster so much as send it out by e-mail with the date in the subject line. Also, the keynote speaker, this lovely British lady who is spending a year at Yale, was supposed to arrive the day before the symposium, stay with my advisor overnight (they're old friends) and then attend the whole symposium and round it off with her talk. Except that she ended up trapped in Philadelphia on account of a mysteriously delayed and rebooked flight and finally staggered in, exhausted and not having slept in twenty-four hours, right in the middle of the roundtable discussion that was scheduled for right before the keynote address. We caffeinated her heavily and she got up and spoke, and it was mostly coherent, except that she couldn't remember how to operate technology, so one of the conference committee had to help her.
Also, serving a big heap o' quinoa on a tray is a bad idea, says she who had to clean up the mess of spilled quinoa.
But the symposium went well. We had seven student papers that each generated some lively discussion. I gave a workshop on understanding how cities were imprinted in two Yiddish songs (Belz and Es Brent), and people sang along and chatted and laughed and generally had a good time, and I brought it in at exactly half an hour without looking at a clock or reading from a pre-written paper. And the concert, by the New Budapest Orpheum Society, was one of the best they've ever done.
And then I went home and crashed. And now I am a happy, accomplished camper.
Next up: Traveling! New England and then Israel with Little Sister Pony!