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Monday, June 27, 2005

"Its like trying to make an ice sculpture out of water" : Recap of SBN

So I safely returned from Texas and days just jam-packed with discussion of the rat love. And the lizard, fish, naked mole rat, bird, and hamster love. One hell of a society, SBN. Anyway, it is really small - there are only a few hundred members - but they're a pretty diverse group of people. Lots of science was discussed and presented in poster form and I don't feel like getting into that. My poster did indeed get finished and actually didn't look nearly as craptacular as I was anticipating. Most people went right by but the people that stopped to talk about it were super-interested, which is good. I guess even at SBN hardcore anatomy is a niche market.

Austin is way way way too hot but the beer is damn cheap. Ummm...I met for lunch with Laura, which shows the benefits of being part of the international craft mafia: you'll know people everywhere. And I got very very drunk with some postdocs and met a whole lot of Canadians. Except some of them are really Americans in Canada and others are Canadians in America, you can only tell by making them say "sorry" a few times. So, the first night I went out with postdocs and the second out for dinner with the advisor, who left the meeting early and didn't really hang out at all. Seriously, people kept asking me where she was and why she hadn't alked to them. Since I, as her grad student, can totally know where she is, what she is up to, and her motivations for whatever the first two are at all times. I really wish she was more social since networking is so important in this field and it would be a big help to my future if she'd actually, you know, introduce me to people. So for all practical purposes I was the only person from Penn there and totally didn't know anybody. Yes, I met people and that was great but I could've used the leg up at the beginning, you know?

Right, the fun parts. So Friday night there was a meeting about political-ish stuff but it was more public policy and education and what/how we as a society should address things. And how to get people to know we exist. This was where I met all the Lehigh people, since they had beer and invited me to drink it with them. One good thing about Texas: you can buy all sorts of booze, not just beer, at CVS. Fun fun fun, though a bit obsessed with ass/poop jokes. I've found many scientists to be obsessed with juvenalia (myself included), probably because we spend so much time doing advanced logic-y thinking we need a break. Ha ha, I said poop. Saturday night was the banquet, open bar for two hours, cash after that. But...there was also a cash bar at the poster sessions and I was totally painfully obsessed with the one bartender. I honestly have never come across someone so man-pretty in my life. Then he was bartending at the banquet, so not only did I get to talk with him, I got free drinks even after I wasn't supposed to. And we were supposed to go out, but didn't since he didn't get to call until after two am at which point I'd already come back from the bars and was just staying up until the cab came to take me and the Lehigh people to our abscenely early (6 am!) flights. But I'm getting ahead of myself. So, dreamy bartender and more mayhem with Lehigh people, plus a Canadian transplanted to Georgia, all drinking and a little dancing and general embarassment. But everyone, even the grownup important sciencey people were drunkety so really it was okay. Dreamy bartender was a philosophy major and is applying to law school in the hopes of doing immigration law and is very nice but I'm sure I'll never see him again. Sigh. Aren't there any immigration law programs in the Northeast?

So I went to the bars post-banquet - like 1 am - with Jeannie from Lehigh and Aras from Georgia state (who is actually a professor and former Canadian) to some dive, the Jeannie and I stayed up and found all the other Lehigh people and cabbed it to the airport before 4am. Because nothing says "fun" like flying drunk, then hungover. No! Sleep! 'Til Cleveland! (btw, no direct flights between Philly and Austin...grrr.) Upon my return, I discovered that my car has one tire that is totally flat but as I've never changed one before it is still sitting there, sad and deflated outside my apartment. While I wasn't hung over anymore, I did feel like shit and totally haven't unpacked yet. Sleep is for the weak! As is unpacking!

Yes. In conclusion, the meeting didn't suck nearly as much as I feared. Now we'll see if we can get our big R01 out by Friday, without which we won't be funded to do things like go to fun meetings. Or any of that "science" stuff we're supposed to be doing.


Blogger V said...

You are officially the most awesome person in the world for this line:
No! Sleep! 'Til Cleveland!

And the conference sounds like it was much fun. I cannot wait until grad school (I don't know if I'm joking).

11:29 PM  
Blogger The Retropolitan said...

I bet I would've gone further in the world had I realized that science and alcohol do mix.

3:06 PM  

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