Another Alaska update before I head out for our banquet! Yesterday I went to lunch with my academic grandfather (my advisor’s PhD advisor), who I’ll call AG. I had never met him before, but he was really nice, funny, and intelligent.
AG: So you’re my academic granddaughter? I lose track, I’ve trained over 40 PhD students.
Me: Wow, that’s impressive.
AG: I like to consider it a failure to practice academic birth control.
He’s also one of the most famous and accomplished scientists here, and he gave me a lot of great grad school advice. Though my favorite was probably when he told me if I was certain I wanted to go into academia, to marry a sugar-daddy doctor or something so I actually have some money.
Him: Hey, that’s what I did. My wife is a physician. I don’t mind it!
My talk today went really well. I was getting more and more nervous about it as the conference went on. Yesterday at the member’s meeting for the society they actually announced the time and location of my talk to a room full of ~150 people because I was the undergrad award winner. My immediate thought was “oh fuck.” Though the room didn’t end up being packed, mainly because my talk was the first of the day at 8:30 am. And on the third day of a conference, people start waking up later and later. I still had about 40 people come though.
We were initially having some technical difficulties. The session chair couldn’t get the computer to work, so I was afraid I’d have to give my talk sans-Power Point (nooo!). That’s what I get for joking about doing an interpretive dance of my talk all week. But eventually someone in the audience donated their laptop, and we were able to hook that up to the projection system. Once I started talking I wasn’t nervous because I was focused on…well, talking. I was actually able to answer questions without sounding like an idiot, hooray! And many people told me it was great (including AG, woo!), and that they heard other people saying it was great, so I’ll call it a success.
And as for my photo woes? I have a ton of funny/beautiful photos so far, but unfortunately you don’t get to see any of them. My little camera that I was using before, the base I need to transfer photos and charge it broke during the plane ride. Blargh. Will try to go to Walmart tomorrow and see what I can do. And the big fancy photo – which I have a bunch of neat bird photos on – can’t upload without installing software, and the lab computers here won’t allow me to do that. So I guess you all just get the boring text versions of my adventures for now.