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It’s late Friday night. You’ve been stood up for a date by that hottie you met in a bar on Capitol Hill, and your roommate is out of town. What to do? Watch your taped episode of Queer As Folk? Go to the movies? How about work on your thesis? That’s right: your thesis. The one for the master’s degree that you finished the course work for two years ago. So, you sit down at your PC, and begin working on your bibliography. You type for three hours in whatever style you choose before you realize that your department adheres to the style rules of the Modern Language Association (MLA), and thus you must begin again. Damn academics. The MLA—which has been around since 1883—produces one of the most commonly used sets of standards for scholarly writing in the United States. In its spare time, the group’s 30,000+ members promote the study of language and literature through a variety of publications and events. Among these events is the annual MLA conference attended by the professors and teachers who make up the organization. And this year, they’ve descended upon Washington. For nonmembers (who can’t afford the $130 admission price) there are some free activities to attend, including an appearance by Robert Pinsky (pictured), 39th poet laureate of the United States, who will host the Favorite Poem Project—a gathering of professors from around the world who will read…their favorite poems. ÆNJØAt 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel’s Salon I, 2660 Woodley Road NW. Free. (202) 745-2114. (Maori Karmael Holmes)