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APSA Aerobics

August 9, 2013

It’s almost APSA time and it seems all my friends are busy planning really wonderful sporting engagements for times they aren’t in panels.  This always puts me in a bind – I thought we became academics because we were bad at sports!  I can’t throw a Frisbee and soccer requires too much coordination.  So, I’ve compiled a list of the fun and somewhat aerobic things I plan to do at APSA, none of which require much coordination but all of which provide some thrill if carried out correctly:

  1. Push all the buttons in the Palmer House Hilton elevator.  Bonus points for doing this 5 minutes before a panel.
  2. Take one pen from the WW Norton table in the book room and put in on the Cengage table. Walk back to the WW Norton table with a Cengage pen and leave it at the WW Norton table. Repeat until all the pens are on the wrong table.
  3. Set the language on all presentation computers to Kyrgyz for all panels except panels actually on Kyrgyzstan.  You’ll want to set the language to isiZulu in those rooms.
  4. Take a picture of [insert name of famous political scientist here]’s shoes.  When you have the picture, shout out “Bingo!” and quickly walk away.
  5. Go up to the person who runs “Statecraft” and thank him sending all the spam mail.
  6. Wave at random people in the lobby.  See how long it takes for someone to wave back that you don’t know. Keep track of this until you have enough observations to make a nice Stata/R graph.  Then, print the graph at Kinko’s and wear it instead of your name tag.
  7. Ask a question at a panel prefaced with “Well, I thought this was a plastics convention but since I’m here…”
  8. Get to Miller’s Pub early.  Say you are expecting a party of 10 and try to keep the table for as long as possible.
  9. In your presentation, say “I really think what political science needs is more interpretive dance.”  Then, bring out your tap shoes and start changing into them until the chair says time’s up.
  10. Take your colleague’s name tag and go up the down escalator in the main lobby of the Palmer House.
  11. After the first question of a panel, start chanting “fight, fight.”  Lean over to the person next to you and announce loudly “my money’s on the person in the blue suit.”

Any activities I’m missing?

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Amanda Murdie is Professor & Dean Rusk Scholar of International Relations in the Department of International Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She is the author of Help or Harm: The Human Security Effects of International NGOs (Stanford, 2014). Her main research interests include non-state actors, and human rights and human security.

When not blogging, Amanda enjoys hanging out with her two pre-teen daughters (as long as she can keep them away from their cell phones) and her fabulous significant other.