There is way too much to discuss in a blog post so I've pulled out some of the highlights below:
Being with Friends
I think this was the best part of the entire conference. A lot (and I mean A LOT) of my colleagues and students went and that was nice and fun but truth be told I see them all the time. We're a close bunch and have many opportunities to socialize. What made this special was being able to spend real quality time with my favorite women ever. LTTS and I roamed the conference together for a few days and I went out to several meals (as well as a cool museum--see below) with her and Beau, who I totally dig. A-girl showed up Monday evening and the three of us (me, Sparkle and A-girl) were pretty much inseparable until it was time to travel home. I miss them dearly when I'm not with them and we're trying to come up with more opportunities to see one another.
I had so much going on at this conference that I had decided I would not go to any presentations beyond the ones that included my friends and colleagues. However, as I was sitting through one very boring talk (I was waiting for a good friend to have her turn to present) I went through the program and found a presentation that was on the EXACT same topic as the chapter I'm writing that happens to be due at the end of the month. I got up early just to attend this presentation and was very pleased I did. Not only did it help immensely with my work but it was fascinating. I'd like to write more about the topic here but don't think I can just yet. I'm currently rethinking this whole idea of being pseudo-anonymous but am pending the official tenure decision before I go there.
What can I say, I totally rocked all three of my talks. I'm very comfortable with public speaking (which doesn't really match with the whole introvert thing but I can put it aside for the occasion) and I'm feeling very confident and sure of my work lately, so its not a surprise. In spite of that it still felt great to nail each one. The one poster that I presented did not go as well but (a) it was not on one of my studies so I was less sure of the work and (b) it was placed with the wrong group. Although the presentations went exactly as I wanted, next time I think I'm sticking to one...maybe two at the most.
The restaurants in the City of Brotherly Love were excellent. I was less than excited before I went because all I knew of the city was cheesesteaks--which just don't do it for me--but we ate at some lovely restaurants and I quite enjoyed myself. Better yet, I ate sensibly and walked so much that I still managed to lose a pound this week.
The Mutter Museum
Many years ago, when b and I were still dating, we saw a TV special on the Mutter Museum and instantly wanted to visit. While I've been in the City of Brotherly Love since, I never managed to find and visit the museum. LTTS and Beau were more than willing to accompany me. While we didn't have much time--the museum closes at 5 pm--we managed to get it all in. You really haven't seen everything in life until you've seen what's in this museum.