Saturday, July 24, 2010

No place like home...

I am home.  The conference was absolutely amazing!  Five days of intense science, schmoozing and incredible sessions really made me get excited about things again. (and completely and totally exhausted) I made some new friends, found some collaborators (although really, there are already 4 of them, do I really need more?), and all in all had a fantastic time.  It was a highly productive meeting.  My poster was well received and I had gotten a few suggestions for experiments which may help clarify things in the end.  I think my liver may be a bit unhappy with me right now, but a few dry days may help that out.

At one point, I was sitting at dinner with Big Boss Man and several of the pioneers in the field.  We were talking about kids and grad school and things like that.  I looked around the table and realized that these are all "normal" (I use the term loosely) people who have normal lives and are just a bit geekier/nerdier then the rest of the general population.  I think I will fit in just fine. 

I think the funniest part of the conference for me was having the image of people in my head completely shattered.  I do believe that there was not one person there that I had "pictured" correctly in my brain.  I am not one of those people who google-stalk someone, so when reading papers I do tend to formulate a picture in my brain of Dr. So-and-so and tend to see them bent over the bench with a gilson in hand.  Yup.  Not one of those images was right.

I have to admit, there were times where I almost had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  This conference to me was like a bunch of high school girls meeting Zak Effrom or something.  Sitting on the porch in a rocking chair with some of the big names in science, listening to their stories about being in Big Boss Man's lab 20-30 yrs ago was almost surreal.

I am just glad to be home.  Five days is a long time.  It also made me realize how much I need to up my game.  And soon.  Monday, in fact.  Operation take the field by storm is now in effect. 

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