GREETINGS FROM THE
We look forward to seeing you in Norman, Oklahoma, August 4-7, for the 37th Annual Conference of the Mythopoeic Society. What follows is some information on the site, an update on the events we have planned, and suggestions for other things to do if you plan to arrive early or stay after the conference.
Main Conference Information Page, Lists of Accepted Papers, Registration Information, General Society Information: http://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon37.html
NEWEST INFORMATION 7/24/06
GUEST LIST updated -- scroll down to see who's coming!
WEATHER: Latest Weather from NOAA
We are caught in the same heat wave as the rest of the country, so be prepared!
REGISTRATION starts at noon Friday in the Conference Center hub.
Staying in Norman after the conference? Don't miss your chance to catch literary punk band Harry and the Potters (yup, that Harry!) at the Sooner Theatre on Tuesday, August 8! More at their website: http://www.eskimolabs.com/hp/ (Thanks to Amy Sturgis for spotting this!)
The campus parking garage at the Memorial Union will be CLOSED the weekend of our conference. None of our events are near this garage, but if you are planning to drive around campus you should be aware that you can't park there. There will be a campus map in your registration packet, and detailed parking maps available on request.
The Sooner Hotel: http://www.housing.ou.edu/soonerhotel/
During Mythcon all the hotel rooms and cottages are reserved for us, so when you call to make your reservations be sure to mention that you are attending Mythcon. If you require a handicapped accessible room, ask for one when you make your reservations. There are ramps at the front and back entrances of the hotel and elevators to all floors. The cottages are not wheelchair accessible. Each room contains a mini-refrigerator, microwave, and cable TV with free HBO and a VCR. The Sooner Hotel and Suites also provides a complete line of services to cater to your every need. These services include an on-site ATM, facsimile and copy services, free parking permits, laundry/valet/dry cleaning, free game area with ping-pong, foos ball, and pool tables, complimentary continental breakfast, and free passes for the Huston Huffman Athletic center and Murray Case Sells Swim Complex.
Check-in time is officially 4:00 at the Sooner Hotel, but if your room is ready they will let you in "sooner," and they do have a place to store your luggage if you have to wait. We have a great hospitality area on the 2nd and 3rd floor landings of the main building, and we’ll feature a good selection of local comestibles and libations. As long as you're not allergic to Sooner red and white, you'll enjoy it!
(Stubbeman Village, a small shopping center, is within walking distance of the Sooner Hotel, just a little north of the cottages. Shops include Papa John's Pizza, Jimmy John's Subs, Tornado Alley soda fountain, convenience store, and drive thru, Sooner Rocks frozen custard, Ratcliffe's Textbooks, and Mr. Bill's bar and grill.)
Unfortunately, you can't make a reservation for Thursday night because another conference is there right before us, but you can ask to be put on standby in case a room becomes available. A quick check of Travelocity.com will point you to other hotels in Norman if you want to arrive early -- there's a Super8, a La Quinta, a Holiday Inn, a few bed-and-breakfasts, and just about anything in between. Most are about 2-3 miles from campus, right along Route 35.
The Commons Restaurant:
The Commons, where we will be having our meals, is mere steps from the conference center, which is mere steps from the hotel and suites. There is a wheelchair ramp at the left entrance only. The bathrooms are in the basement, and there is no elevator, so if you cannot manage stairs, you will need to return to the conference facility next door for the restrooms. Meals will be buffet-style and there will be vegetarian options at all meals. Please contact Janet Croft if you have additional requirements.
The Thurman J. White Conference Center: http://www.occe.ou.edu/facilities/forum.html
The conference center will make you feel a bit like you’re in a modernist space station! It consists of a central hub and three long radiating corridors, and the rooms are all octagonal. We have most of the rooms in two of the corridors, plus a large auditorium upstairs. Each meeting room at the Forum comes equipped with chalkboard, chalk, overhead projector, A/V screen, and a podium microphone. The conference center is easily accessible for wheelchairs. There are ramps at the hub entrances, elevators to all floors, and handicapped accessible restrooms. There is a small gift and snack shop in the center of the main floor, and several areas to meet informally. Getting between these three buildings will be easy since they are only a short walk from each other.
If you will have a car at Mythcon, please consider hosting a carpool. We will have sign-up sheets for the bookstore signing, Hamlet, and the Banquet. All are walkable for the hardy and the not-easily-wilted, but many attendees will prefer a ride if available. Maps will be included in your registration packets.
Bookstore signing -- Friday Night: http://www.bkstr.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ StoreCatalogDisplay?langId=-1&catalogId=10001&storeId=10065
The campus bookstore is generously hosting a group signing for us Friday night after dinner. Both of our guests of honor, plus other authors on our guest list, will be there to sign their books. If you don't know if you're on the author list and you want to be, contact Janet Croft. Authors who will be signing their books include:
The bookstore is about a 15 minute walk from the conference center. If you are driving, parking is free and plentiful. An elevator will take you straight from the parking garage to the lower level of the bookstore, where the signing will be held.
Hamlet -- Saturday Night: http://www.ou.edu/finearts/drama/
We have one firm option for entertainment Saturday night -- the OU Fine Arts department is putting on Hamlet as part of the Oklahoma Summer Shakespeare Chautauqua. Jason Gerace will be directing a group of local professionals and students. If we can get together a group of 20 or more, tickets will be $6 each. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to sign up. The Rupel Jones Theatre is about a 25 minute walk. Parking is free and plentiful at the parking garage across the street, which has an elevator. We are looking at other options as well.
Lia McCoo -- Saturday Night
For those who have had enough Hamlet for now, thanks, Lia McCoo will be performing. Many of you may have met her at Bardic Circles at previous Mythcons.
Banquet -- Sunday Night: http://www.snomnh.ou.edu/
Sue is in the building! -- the largest tyrannosaurus skeleton ever found is on display at our banquet site at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. We will have an opportunity to explore the Hall of Ancient Life for free for an hour before our banquet and see some of the other amazing specimens owned by the museum, including a pentaceratops! The museum has a fantastic gift shop, but you'll have to visit during business hours Friday or Saturday because it will be closed Sunday evening and all day Monday (or visit online at http://www.snomnh.ou.edu/store.htm). The museum is a short walk from the hotel – about five minutes. Parking is free and plentiful, and the entire site is wheelchair-accessible. The banquet will be buffet style with at least three main dish choices, including a vegetarian option, and wine will be included.
Sunday night post-banquet Entertainments will include the Masquerade (coordinated by Marion VanLoo), Norse Myths Revisited: Storytelling by Douglas "Dag" Rossman, The Clerihew Contest coordinated by Mike Foster, and the Not Ready for Mythcon Players will be Not Ready.
Vendor table, program book, hospitality room, and registration packet information and form available here: http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/vendor_table.htm
We have a room set aside in the conference center for video viewing in the evenings. Our video room coordinator is planning at least one night of Japanese anime; more details to come!
We also have a room set aside for Bardic Circle in the conference center – or gather outside under the stars! Since we are the only group in the hotel and the nearby fraternity houses and dorms are empty for the summer, we won’t bother anyone!
If you are interested in showing your work in the art show, please see http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/art_show.htm
We will have an auction, but have not yet lined up our auctioneers and coordinator. Volunteers are welcome! Please contact Janet Croft if you have any auction materials you would like to ship in advance.
T-shirts and other memorabilia are available in advance at http://cafepress.com/mythcon37. We have the basic conference logo design, “I Ate With Sue” designs for those attending the banquet, and a humorous take-off on Oklahoma’s own Will Rogers. If you don't see the precise combination of product and design you want, contact Janet Croft. A selection of items will also be available at the conference.
Sand Volleyball: There is a sand volleyball pit outside the hotel, which we may use as part of our Golfimbul pitch if we are so inclined.
Swimming: Those staying at the Sooner Hotel will have free access to the Murray Case Sells Swim Complex across the street: http://recservices.ou.edu/pool/catalog/default.php.
Indoor Track and Weight Machines: Those staying at the Sooner Hotel will also have access to the Huston Huffman Center, about a block away, for indoor track, weight machines, and other facilities: http://recservices.ou.edu/
Walking, Running, Jogging, Bicycling: This neighborhood is very popular for walking, running, jogging, and bicycling. South of the Center you can follow paths around the law school and museum, or head north on Chautauqua along fraternity row.
In the hotel: The third floor lounge includes a few game tables for foosball. The second floor lounge has a TV and pool table. All rooms have TV/VCRs and the hotel has free movies you can borrow at the front desk.
Donate to the family of Daniel Timmons and other good causes through The White Tree Fund: http://www.whitetreefund.org/
Donate towards a chair in the name of our author guest of honor at the New Minneapolis Central Library: http://www.wilbers.com/MinnesotaAuthorsCampaign.htm. Pledges are being accepted at the Lois Bujold Mailing List http://lists.herald.co.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lois-bujold. (UPDATE: Enough money has been raised for the chair, but donations can still be made to the Minneapolis Public Library through this group.)
NORMAN AND OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma will be HOT HOT HOT and humid at the beginning of August -- unless it's cold and rainy, of course! Be sure to plan ahead if you want to walk anywhere or take a campus tour. Check the weather report at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ifps/MapClick.php?CityName =Norman&state=OK&site=oun
SURVIVING OKLAHOMA SUMMERS:
All the sites are close enough for the hardy to walk between them. However, the weather in Oklahoma in August is usually hot and humid. (We have had cool Augusts, but the norm is pretty miserable.) A few common sense rules will help you beat the heat.
Local churches: http://norman.areaconnect.com/churches.htm
For a college town, we don't really have a lot in the way of independent or used bookstores. Borders and Barnes and Noble are both located just west of I-35 on Sam Noble Blvd. between Lindsey and Main. Here are a couple of used bookstores:
If you have your own laptop with you, the hotel and conference center have wireless internet access. You can also go across the street to the Law Library http://jay.law.ou.edu/library/ and obtain a guest log-in by showing a photo ID. They are closed Sunday.
Good places to eat off-campus:
The major chains, like Chili’s and Red Robin, are mostly clustered along I-35 and the Sam Noble Parkway which runs parallel to it on the west between Lindsey and Robinson. For a more local flavor, try these:
TAX-FREE WEEKEND in NORMAN and TEXAS
Our con coincides with this annual shopping ... madhouse! See details at http://www.oudaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/07/30/42ebcaaa8d390
While you’re on campus, be sure to see:
There's plenty to do in Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas/Fort Worth, and along Route 66 for those who want to make a vacation of it. Try these sites:
Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City http://www.flyokc.com/
If you are planning to stay in Norman for a day or two after the conference (or you just want to get away during!), here are some suggestions:
If it's not too hot, try a walking tour of the campus. I will be providing copies of our campus walking guide, which has tours for architecture, gardens, and sculpture: http://www.visit.ou.edu/HTML/tours.htm. Watch for our state bird, the scissortail flycatcher, which looks like an escaped exotic: http://www.birdsofoklahoma.net/State%20bird.htm
All the campus libraries will be open Monday. Two of our libraries will have special exhibits related to our conference theme -- the Western History collection in Monnet Hall will have Native American literature http://libraries.ou.edu/info/index.asp?id=22, and the History of Science collection in Bizzell will have old maps http://libraries.ou.edu/info/index.asp?id=20. Both are well worth seeing even if you don't care about the exhibits. You might even get to see the Galileo with a dedication in his own hand: http://hsci.cas.ou.edu/exhibits/exhibit.php?exbgrp =1&exbid=11&exbpg=10. And as long as you are in Bizzell, you should see the Great Reading Room, the most beautiful room on campus (fourth picture down on the campus tour link in the first paragraph). If you find old libraries interesting, our oldest stacks are state-of-the-art -- for 1928! Bizzell also boasts a great collection of Native American prints and drawings. Another special library on campus is quite a showplace -- the Youngblood Energy Library (or the Geology Library, if you get a blank look when asking for directions) in the Sarkey’s Energy Center has some beautiful fossil and mineral samples, and is surrounded by a gallery displaying other samples and lots of information about local items like rose rocks: http://libraries.ou.edu /info/index.asp?id=19 . It's pretty far for a walk -- best if you're driving. Nielson Hall, home to the Physics department and the Physics-Astronomy Library, usually has interesting displays of old slide rules and optics tricks in their lobbies http://libraries.ou.edu/info/index.asp?id=21.
You can also get a tour of the new National Weather Center starting in July: http://www. nssl.noaa.gov/faq/tours.shtml, but you have to register in advance. It's not open yet, so there isn’t much information available right now. But if you are a weather geek, Oklahoma is the place to be!
And for anyone who has a relative thinking about college in the not-too-distant future, this might be a good time to pay an informal visit to a department he or she might be interested in: http://www.ou.edu/web/academics/
If you want to get off campus, there's shopping and antiquing on Campus Corner http://www.oucampuscorner.com/ and along Main Street, or a drive up to some of the many attractions in Oklahoma City. Most museums in the city close Monday, so be sure to check their hours first.
Since Oklahoma is terra incognita to many Mythies, here are answers to some frequently asked questions. I have been asked if people in Oklahoma:
1. Lived in houses
Yes! Some of them in walking distance of the conference center were designed by famed architect Bruce Goff, a Frank Lloyd Wright student and associate: http://www.greatbuildings.com/ architects/Bruce_Goff.html. We’ll include a map in your registration packet. And if you make a side trip up to Bartlesville, you can see the only high-rise FLW designed -- and stay in it, because it's been renovated as a hotel and restaurant: http://www.pricetower.org/
2. Still lived in teepees
Though we don’t have any all-wigwam motels like the ones at this site: http://www.dreamscape. com/dbporter/wigwam_nation.htm, there are some other rather interesting buildings along Route 66...like the blue whale and the round barn: http://www.oklahomaroute66.com/index.html.
3. Heated their teepees in the winter
If you lived here in the summer, you’d be more interested in whether we air-conditioned them! You can see some Indian dwellings in the Sam Noble Oklahoma Natural History Museum’s Hall of the People of Oklahoma across the street from our conference site, including a contemporary summer arbor showing one way some Native Americans beat the heat.
4. Were afraid of wild Indians
Well, some people are concerned about the economic effect of casinos and Indian smoke shops – it’s a recurring theme in the state legislature. You will see something interesting here -- license plates issued by the different Indian nations. If you play license plate lotto as you drive, you'll rack up the points! http://www.worldlicenceplates.com/usa/US_OKXX.html .
5. Kept rifles to protect them from wild Indian attacks
Nope—we use ours to kill pygmy rattlesnakes, but you won't see those on campus. Sometimes you see a skunk, though! Just greet him politely and move on. Our mosquitoes aren’t big enough that you need a rifle to protect yourself, but those planning on outdoor activities after dark might want to bring some Deep Woods Off.
6. Had electricity
Yes, lots. In fact if you'd like to see a very impressive wind farm, take I-40 west to Weatherford. http://www.psoklahoma.com/news/wind/
7. Drove cars
Yep— in fact it's not a very walking-friendly town, except for campus. We have that western sense of distance out here -- Dallas is "only" three hours away. The boom and bust cycle of local oil production has driven the state’s economy for decades.
8. Had paved roads
Mostly--there are a few gravel roads out where I live, about 20 miles from town. Since there's not a whole lot of rain, gravel roads stand up pretty well.
9. All sound like Reba McIntyre (country singer)
you hear accents from all over the world! Including Yankees like me. We have
students from 106 different countries! The state is pretty diverse, too:
Guests registered as of July 20 (and see the list of accepted papers on the website at http://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon37.html for additional names):
Jane M.H. Bigelow
Berni Phillips Bratman
Lois McMaster Bujold
Janet Brennan Croft
Sarah Gail Croft
Edith L. Crowe
Harold Harrington III
Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
Mark T. Hooker
Mary Jo Kapsalis
Mary Kay Kare
Grace Walker Monk
Robin Anne Reid
Douglas J. Russell
Rebecca K. Swisher
Marion Van Loo
Donald T. Williams
· Janet Brennan Croft, Chair email@example.com
· Edith Crowe, Paper Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
· Duane Croft, Treasurer
· David Oberhelman, Registrar
· Ginger MacElwee, Site Liaison
· Caroline Fitzsimmons, Art Show Coordinator
· Sarah Gail Croft, Video Room Coordinator
· Leah Grover, Bardic Circle Coordinator
Marion VanLoo, Masquerade Coordinator
Adrian Simmons, Vendor coordinator
Please join us in Oklahoma for Mythcon 37 --
We never met a hobbit we didn't like!