If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Local Conference

I may have mentioned that I had a rock star as my dissertation advisor. She is not only an amazing researcher and role model but a very nice person. We got along fine but were never really close. I like to work independently and she appreciated students who weren't hanging all over her. However I did work very closely with the head PhD in my advisor's center--let's call her Jags. Jags and I co-ran a project that employed a bunch of graduate students at the center. The project ran for several years and I ended up using it for my dissertation.

Jags is incredibly smart, funny, and tough. We both like to sink our teeth into discussions. We also both like things to run smoothly and systematically and don't suffer fools kindly. I love working with Jags. I don't enjoy fighting but an intellectual debate is a lot of fun for me. Jags is one of the few people I know who can do this without ego and/or hurt feelings. Sometimes we scared the graduate students but we were always friends.

Last year a research group at my university submitted a proposal to host a big name conference on the subject I used to study. Since she's such a big name, they asked my advisor to come speak. She asked if them if I was involved with the conference--which I wasn't--and this seem to up my "cred" a bit across campus. My advisor agreed to come last year, when she was first asked, but much has happened since then and she ended up not being able to attend. She asked Jags to speak in her place and Jags asked if I wanted to help her pull it together. Being involved in a big name conference, especially since a publication may come out of it, is good for both of our careers.

The conference starts tomorrow and Jags flew in late this evening. Its been fun working with her on the presentation and I can't wait to see her tomorrow. The conference itself seems a bit of a bore to me, since I'm not really into this field anymore and the big names no longer enthrall me, but I'm excited to spend two days with my friend.

Unfortunately this is happening the same weekend b and I had planned on heading to our home city UpNorth. He and his friends have been sharing a Super Bowl party for years. This year they were supposed to come down to us but one just had a baby and another has had a string of bad luck that is preventing him from getting away. b and I were going to drive up on Friday, spend the weekend and drive back on Monday. Now b will be driving up by himself so I can present at the conference with Jags and then I'll fly up and meet him. I'm kind of tired just thinking about it.


Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

That sounds fun, but exhausting! Especially since you're able to spend so much time with your friend. I hope that it all goes well!

Wayfarer Scientista said...

I hate it when things clash like that. But I hope you had fun all the same!