Eating and Ethics

I hope my colleague Richard doesn’t read this entry; he would be very angry!

Susan and I have giggled about how we barely have to spend any money on food at CCCCs. Between the various breakfasts we pay to attend (WPA, see later post & TYCA, oops, slept in this year) and the Textbook Company parties in the evenings, meals are pretty covered. So this year was the typical line up, with conflicting parties so that you can’t possibly attend them all. But I made it to Bedford/St. Martin’s party at the Tavern on the Green. WOW…that place was amazing. And then I felt so sophisticated when I came home and continued reading through my WitchBlade compendium (b-day gift!!!) and a scene took place at the Tavern. I also drank a few too many mohitos at Allyn & Bacon/Longman’s party at the Havana place (eek…forgetting the name, hopefully someone will respond and correct me). The coconut shrimp were divine. And this year I missed McGraw Hill’s annual Rock’n’Roll party because I was too busy hanging out in the Hilton’s bar, and then riding the subway with Dale to try to catch the live sing-a-long of the Buffy Musical episode. We were bummed, they were sold out when we got there.

But back to the title, ethics and eating. So, the textbook industry pays for some of my food while in NYC. In other words, those students buying the books we require of them…paid for our dinners. And folks, these parties are huge, hundreds of people, don’t think that I’m somehow in the “in” crowd. These parties must cost these companies thousands of dollars. With the increasing hub-bub about textbook prices, especially in The Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed, should we be rethinking these practices (and expectations)? But the Rhet/Comp field is not the only one doing this; last year at the annual nmc summer conference, we had two hum-dinger of parties thrown by Apple and Adobe. Adobe rented out the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame!

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