I had a lot of fun! The ten hour drive through Iowa was kind of boring, but I couldn't sleep. A few of us just talked and I played more Pokemon. We stayed at the Millennium Hotel right downtown, a couple blocks from the hotel the conference was in. It snowed almost the whole time, so the short walk was really cold and uncomfortable. Our hotel was being used by the National Conference of Black Engineers, so it was fun to see all the southern kids who hadn't seen snow very much if at all.
The conference itself was cool. I stayed in my women's studies comfort zone and went to sessions that focused on gender and sexuality issues. Topics ranged from the feelings of loss of transmen and their partners to rural lesbian identity frames. It was really interesting to see what everyone was researching. There were hundreds of sessions with 3 or 4 papers discussed in each session. Crazy to see how many sociologists are studying in the Midwest.
Our own presentation was good. Not well attended, but we did well. Our small audience turned into a really interesting discussion of what students need out of sociology programs, classes and teachers. Probably haven't mentioned it here yet, but we studied how students feel about the post-graduation planning process. We found that the earlier students begin planning, they also have higher levels of self-efficacy (confidence they'll be able to achieve their post-college career goals) and most positive attitudes (less anxious, more excited). Other groups studied transferable skills, social networks, career resource use, etc. We focused on attitudes, beliefs and plans.
Now, it's back to school. 2 months before I graduate! Ahh! So excited! Now I just have to find a place to live and work and time to finish everything I need to finish by then.