At this year’s convention, you’ll be hearing the term “Abecedarian” bandied about. What’s an Abecedarian, you may ask. Well, an Abecedarian, according to the OED, is a mid-17th century Late Latin term meaning “a person who is just learning, a novice.” For those of you who are Abecedarians at this year’s convention (those of you who are attending for the first time), we have a few suggestions about what you shouldn’t miss!
To begin with, be sure to attend the first-ever Abecedarians Unite! Meeting on Wednesday, March 18, from 5-6 p.m. in Pavilion IV-V-VI. It’s especially for first-time and solo convention goers. Here, you’ll meet some of our student leaders and alumni who will give you their best tips and tricks for making the most of your convention experience and help you to get acquainted with the other novices. As a starter, so you can do some pre-convention planning, here are some suggestions from last year’s Abecedarians:
- Go to all of the headlining speakers, All. Of. Them. The one(s) you don’t know will be just as enjoyable as the ones you do– maybe more so. And be sure to pick up a copy of the speakers’ book to get signed—nothing says English major more than a personally inscribed, autographed copy of a book.
- Pick out one of the special Thursday morning workshops to attend–whether you want to hone your creative writing skills, see how best to showcase your English skills as you enter the job market, or consider going to graduate school for that M.A., M.Ed., or MFA, there’s a workshop to suit your fancy.
- Introduce yourself to people, heck yeah, to EVERYONE!—you’ll never be with more folks who get allusions, look for symbolism in everything, understand the irksome nature of misused apostrophes and commas than you will at convention—you’re with your people, so to speak, so don’t be shy! Those badges you wear will be great icebreakers, so look for others from your region, or look for other Abecedarians (you’ll all have yellow name badges).
- Attend the Business Meeting at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 20. You’ll get a chance to represent for your chapter, and every chapter with an official voting student delegate present at the General Business Meeting and the Regional Caucus is eligible to receive a $200 reimbursement ($400 for non-continental U.S. chapters).
- Interested in getting your manuscript published? Don’t miss out on the Paths to Publication panel on Friday, March 20, at 9:30 a.m. in Pavilion IV-V. Five Sigma Tau Deltans with new publications will be sharing their stories and answering questions.
- Participate in the Bad Poetry Contest or Open Mic night and share your worst and/or best work with your fellow Sigma Tau Deltans.
- Hit up the merchandise sales tables and snag the perfect T-shirt, button, or jewelry item that expresses your inner English-nerdiness. Edgy or punny, there’s sure to be something that is just perfect for you.
- Play Convention Bingo – meet people, participate in diverse activities, eat good food, and you might just win a prize!
- Get out of the hotel and explore Albuquerque. From a Tram ride up to the top of the Sandias, a visit to The Candy Lady in Old Town, or an excursion to one of the many museums or cultural centers, see some of what this fabulous location has to offer. See map of downtown Albuquerque.
Though by no means a comprehensive list, this should get you started with your plans for how you might spend your time at the 2015 Convention. We can’t wait to meet all of you in Albuquerque.