I went to the International Congress on Medieval Studies conference last month. Actually, I worked at the book exhibit at the ICMS conference, affectionately referred to as Kzoo. It is truly my favorite part of the job. I get to meet many of our authors, both established and forthcoming, tout the wonderful books that Penn State Press publishes, see colleagues that I only get to see at conferences, and best of all, I get to people watch. Truly the most fun you can have with your clothes on, in my humble opinion.
This year there was a pixie in attendance. I didn’t actually get to speak to her, or get her to stop so I could snap a photo (how would anyone believe me otherwise?), but she was there, flitting from booth to booth. And the fashions! From the inappropriate-for-hiking-all-across-campus-high heels to the downright scary pink shirt-purple shorts-green socks-sandal guy, I saw it all.
Hair was also big at Kzoo this year (and yes, I mean in size). One gentleman let me photograph him and his knee-length braid and beard parted in the middle, but the wild grey hair on what I can only assume were tenured professors (I actually saw corduroys worn with a tweed blazer, replete with suede elbow patches!) is what caught my attention. They were always in a hurry, rushing through the hall, hair falling into their eyes or flying crazily every which way. I thought briefly of opening up a barbershop in a discreet corner, but more often than not, I had ideas of tackling them and giving them a proper trim before setting them free again. Alas, my shears were at home (this year).