I got back home from Atlanta late last night and slept in this morning since I hardly got any sleep at all while I was at SBL. It’s not that I went to many sessions–I only went to a few: to hear Terry Fretheim since I like his work but had never heard him in person before; friends’s presentations (sadly, I didn’t make it to all of my friends’s papers for various reasons so don’t be offended if I wasn’t at yours), the discussion of Seth Sanders’s book The Invention of Hebrew, and a few Assyriological presentations.
However, I did catch up with old friends, made many new ones, and introduced my students to some senior scholars who are friends of mine. This is the real reason why I go to SBL. It is a joy to sit around with people who are smarter and more well-read than me and get so caught up in conversation that we forget to go to sleep. It is personally satisfying but also professionally edifying as well. These conversations sparked at least two new article ideas and I was offered two book deals. I have additional reflections and I need to pick up a series on teaching that I announced a bit ago but right now I need to catch up on some sleep and get to work on all this writing.
Thanks to everyone who made this the best SBL for me so far and if we didn’t connect this time, let’s plan on doing so in SanFran.