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Hail Fellow, Almost Met

An MLA moment I haven’t written about, as yet: I had three and a half minutes between meetings, at one point, and so I grabbed the laptop and headed for the corridor in the conference center, where there was a nice strong free wifi signal. Just as I was sitting down and getting myself set up, along came a guy in a very nice suit and a very nice open-collared shirt in a lovely shade of green. Perhaps I looked a bit familiar for some reason, perhaps it was the usual conference name-tag scan, perhaps it was the sight of me yanking laptop out of messenger bag, but the guy in the lovely green shirt gave me a decided squint as he passed by. I thought nothing of it for about thirty seconds, and then realized — I think that was Michael Bérubé.

I’m still not positive — I’ve never met the man in person. And of course, I left Philadelphia before the big blogging panel, so I couldn’t confirm then. Nor could I introduce myself, which is something I really wanted to do. He did me a quite astonishing professional favor some years back, one utterly unnecessary, particularly given that he had no idea who I was. It fell at a key moment in my career, when things were looking more than a little dark, and I’ve never gotten the chance to thank him in person, or to let him know how much it meant.

And now things have gone all explody over at Le Blogue Bérubé. Once upon a time, at least, we both belonged to a fairly small cohort of academics with the same weird tendency to publish our random thoughts online. Now he’s gone, and I’m just me again. I can’t help but feel like I missed my moment.


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