So I am at the University of Wisconsin Distance Learning Conference in Madison. So far a very good and informative conference. Well it was good up until an hour or so ago. Unfortunately they have just disgruntled this feminist and with that comes a blog post that I hope makes the rounds.
So it was time for the Thursday Keynote Speaker. They decided to serve a brunch instead of lunch. It was after 11 so that seemed odd anyways but... whatever. There were about 1000 people attending this event all in the large ball room. The speaker was to talk about the use of social media in learning which is frankly one of my main topics of interest.
As I got closer to the doors of this large space the smell became unbelievably terrible. It smells like they are roasting whole hogs in a pit in the middle of the room. I guess 1000 plates all flowing with bacon will make that happen. This smell is wafting into the hallway and into the other smaller lecture forums. It is so strong that I see people turning away at the doors with the same face as me. One is a Jewish Man from Israel that traveled all this way for the conference. One is a Muslim Woman with head scarves and a look of sadness on her face. Several are from Indian and take a deep breath and try to go into the room. Several of vegetarians with looks of disgust and anger on their faces.
You might say that they are making dietary considerations by providing special meals for us outliers that don't feel like bathing in bacon during our educational opportunities, however we still have to sit in that space and share the air and breath in that terrible smell. For those that love bacon they can enjoy it and walk out with the smell in their hair and on their clothing and revel in it all day. For the rest of us this excludes us from the event.
They could just as easily provided a meal that did not have pork or at least open the doors. I kept opening the door and the staff kept closing it. I tried to sit by the door to learn what I came here for. Yet they just kept closing the door. Even after I told the staff the smell was horrible and I was trying to let in some air. Well apparently that request seemed to be out of line as they just kept closing the door anyway. Finally I had to get up and leave.
I formally complained to the conference organizer and she gave the the typical platitudes with no depth or understanding. She looked at me like my head was on fire for even disliking the smell. We are not talking about my noise and it's lack of enjoyment of pork. We are talking about common decency and respect for diversity. We attend sessions on how to respect diversity in on line learning. How about respecting diversity period. What a thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!