Day Three: It May Be Over, But Don’t Fret

On day 3, after watching Jaws the night before, I needed to sleep in a little to recover and missed the first few interesting talks.  On the bright side, I was free from any more rebukes from the staff, so I got to go to the entirety of the talks that I made it to.  Today was mostly about posters, but what would a conference be without the talks?  We went to five straight IDP ones, which were great except for their insistence on mentioning techniques a bunch of us had never heard of, like Fret.  Our group agreed that a briefing on common techniques before the conference would have been appreciated, though you know what they say about hindsight.  We then went to the Undergraduate Breakfast, which was interesting to me at least.  They were surprised to see us sophomores in the room, which I guess speaks to Casey’s interesting lab dynamic.  Afterwards, we finally went down and got to work, setting up camp in front of our posters.  I presented with Shannon, which made it less strenuous and more productive, but I was surprised at how well the poster method works.  This gets back to my previous point about conference cooperation, which means its time for a paragraph break.

The poster sessions were so much better than those we had done in the fall at Haverford, because the audience we had was a self-sorting one, who were of course well learned in the techniques or proteins (or at least general subject matter) of our projects.  This made presenting the poster much more rewarding, because you knew when you were explaining it that the person (who usually had a PhD) was interested and understanding everything you were saying as well if not better than you, or at least I, did.  And even better, because these people were so knowledgeable, they had an amazing amount of suggestions or ideas for the projects, and freely shared them.  This makes complete sense theoretically: they were learning a new approach from the work you were presenting, and in turn, they were trading ideas right back, but it was great to see it actually work in practice.  As I said before, I was blown away by the success and usefulness of this portion of the conference.

After the poster session, I stayed for dinner and then left for DC.  This turned out to be a major mistake, because seeing Casey dance to Single Ladies is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  But here’s to hoping it’s actually a twice-in-a-lifetime experience…

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