A blessed Feast of the Annunciation to everybody, even if liturgically it’s been over for three and a half hours. I’m still eating fish right now. In honor of the fact that I just got my Coptic textbook six months early, I’ve chosen a Coptic icon of this feast.
So, I’m a member of the Fellowship of Ss. Alban & Sergius, and I think you should be too. I joined a little over two years ago, and quickly noticed — “Hey! Everything they do is over in England!” That makes it a little spendy for academic wannabes with no institutional support to participate, so I inquired after the possibility of starting a United States-based chapter for the, well, probably three of us who are over here. Probably not, was the answer, but they mumbled something about planning a conference on American soil at St. Vladimir’s, probably around January 2007.
Well, January 2007 came and went with no word. However, a few months ago the Fellowship officially announced that the conference would be occurring in June of this year, and then today, at long last, registration opened.
It should be quite an event; Metropolitans Kallistos & PHILIP, and Bp. Hilarion are among the highlights, over five days (4-8 June 2008) in Crestwood, NY.
However, one thing that quickly made itself conspicuous as I was perusing the registration information: there is neither a Fellowship member registration price break, nor a student price break. It’s $400 for everything (including accommodation) if you pay in full before 7 May, otherwise it’s $500 for everything, and that’s the only verse that song has.
Now, to some extent, this is to be understood. I have to imagine the number of actual members in America is so small as to be insignificant, and perhaps most of them are people who are already going to be there as invited guests. This is also not exactly an academic conference as such, so there’s not really a good reason to have student pricing.
But still. With airfare, that’s going to be around $700. We’re back where we started when I first joined the Fellowship — it’s a bit spendy for an academic wannabe without institutional support to participate.
All the same, I wanna go. I really wanna go. I’m not going to get a chance to do much else this summer, my wife will be out of the country again, plus 2008 has really sucked so far anyway, so this would be nice.
It occurred to me that allegedly my blog is worth $2,822.70, which would pay for four people to go to this conference. Well, I think I should leave some of that for a rainy day, but if I can just monetize just a quarter of my blog’s value, then there is my registration fee and airfare, no muss, no fuss.
So I’ve added a tip jar. Besides that link, there’s a permanent link to it on my blogroll under “Tip Jar.” If you think what you read here is worth something, then I recommend counseling and lots of it, but I nonetheless give you the opportunity to let the free market work. (It will be noted that not contributing anything will also be seen as a weighing in on the value of this blog and perhaps a more accurate one at that.)
(And yes, I recognize that, realistically, this will maybe raise enough money for me to buy a latte at the airport. Well, whatever — nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.)
(Maybe tomorrow I’ll actually say something about Bp. MARK’s visit.)
(OK, OK, I’ll quit with the parentheticals.)