Received yesterday in the Radical's university email account Inbox:
"Dear [Tenured Radical]:
"We are delighted you have registered to attend the 2008 American Historical Association Annual Meeting.
"We are again offering a 'Self Registration Check-In' for all advance registrants and this will minimize your time in line. If you are advanced registered you can use the self registration terminals to print and pickup your badge. The Pre-Registered Badge Pickup Terminals will prompt you for your BADGE NUMBER: XXXXXX. Bring this note so you have your number with you when you check-in. Staff will be there to help you through the user friendly process. "
Yes, this will be so much easier than how I usually do it, which is to stand in line chatting with people I haven't seen for months (without having to worry about printing and carrying an email with me) and then just telling someone my name and getting a packet.
To put it another way -- methinks this is actually easier for someone else who doesn't have to pay someone to stuff those packets. But wherever the AHA can save a nickel or two to put to its various good works, I'm for it.
And speaking of nickels, youngsters: if you are a historian, and not yet a member of the American Historical Association, you should join. Not for the journal -- you can get that at the library -- but because it is one of our major professional advocates for preserving our access to archives. Membership fees are adjusted for rank, beginning at $37.00 for graduate students. This is slightly more than half the cost of a good pair of sneakers.
(Photo taken royalty-free from this site.)