Each of the last 3 days I’ve had 3-5 publisher catalogues in my mailbox which has gotten me thinking about Kalamazoo. Think they know about my little habit? Anyway, between that and Congress being a touch over a week away, I’m feeling inspired. I don’t know if there’s a need for for me to post another First Timers’ Guide for The International Congress on Medieval Studies but I guess I’ll put this up anyway since there are a couple of things I haven’t mentioned before.
For the most part I’m going to refer you to my post from two years ago with a few additions. You may also find some information (not as much) in last year’s post. And as always, for the full meal deal and several hours worth of reading, there’s my Kalamazoo page.
I’m going to add a couple of details. First is about food. I always buy breakfasts and have never in the seven times I’ve attended eaten another meal in the dining hall, though if I ever remember to pack everything I should I may buy a Wednesday evening ticket – why is it that when I fly halfway across the planet I remember everything but when I drive 150 miles I always leave something behind?
Breakfast isn’t bad. It’s not great but IMO it’s edible (I have a car there so trust me, if it was bad I’d put wheels on the road). I’ve always adapted the Purdue dining rule to Western Michigan (surely this is universal?) and grabbed a banana or something on exit in case I don’t have time for lunch. On campus dining options are very limited. You may be at Schneider for a Thursday session, eat at the snack bar there, and think you’re in good shape for the week. No such luck – it isn’t open Friday-Sunday. There aren’t a lot of choices within walking distance off campus either. When I first started attending, Bilbo’s was right next to campus but they moved it downtown. If you didn’t pre-purchase dining hall meal tickets, you can buy them at the dorm office.
There are buses which will take you to different locations for sessions. There’s half an hour between sessions which is plenty of time to get to and fro on foot but it may be raining, mid-80’s(30 C), mid-40’s(7 C) or snowing. I can’t ever recall seeing snow such that it accumulates but I’ve definitely seen flakes flying around. I was lazy last year and took the bus or drove most of the time but unless the weather’s very bad or my leg’s giving me a lot of grief I’m planning to walk it more.
There is Wi-Fi access but only in the public areas, not in the dorm rooms (unless this has changed since last year). I have an air card so it doesn’t bother me but you may need to do a little planning to check e-mail or whatever.
I’ll be driving up Wednesday afternoon and I try to get in by 5 at the latest so I have a little time to relax. Every year I think I may leave early to visit some local wineries and I’ve not yet gotten organized enough to do this. That’s OK – I’m not sure a college dorm room with poor temperature control is the best place to store wine for four days anyway. I don’t buy wine like I do books – now that would be a problem – but on trips I enjoy perusing the local viticulture when I have the time.
As usual, to those attending, I may see some of you there. If it’s your first time and you get confused or lost, ask questions. Everyone there attended for the first time at some point in their lives.