I was just asked to chair a session of the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. This sounds damned impressive, until you realize that this international conference is being held in Evanston, Illinois, and that the session I am chairing has a grand total of one paper, lasting twenty minutes. So my duties are to introduce the authors of this paper, make sure they take only twenty minutes to present their findings, and to both encourage questions and limit them to five minutes. But it will look good in my interim review file, and it is a good starting point for my chairing career. I'm also presenting a paper at this conference, so I get double bang for my university's buck.
I also just finished chairing a search committee, which again sounds impressive when omitting the detail that this search was for a part-time position. But we still had to read through many applications (the Bush economy affects academics, too), and go through the whole interview rigamarole. I am happy with the results, though I hope we can convert this part-time music theory position to another tenure-track job in either theory or theory/composition. But that won't happen until I can build a hotel on Jordan Avenue.