The running of the lectures stampedes to a triumphant end

My big day has come and now gone – I happily gave my first oral presentation at BPS.  I arrived about 20 minutes before the start and the friendly and competent technician took my computer and resolved a slight issue with recognition of the projector.  I hadn’t seen the chairmen previously in the conference nor been in contact since the last BPS I attended in 2010, so it was nice to say ‘hello.’  I greeted the other speakers and took my seat, attentive as ever with a few more anxious butterflies in my stomach than I anticipated.  As I jotted down notes, I continually glanced over the big bullet points I had already read a hundred times over the past few days.  Finally it was my turn, I was ready.  I knew I could trust my computer since I had run through the presentation half a dozen times the night before.  As I began the intro, bam, the screen freezes, no animation, no movie that I programmed.  Awesome.  I manage to fight off the cloud of panic that momentarily tries to block my mind.  It turns out to be a minor flaw, a quick escape and shift-F5 and I’m up and running with no further glitch.  I’m happy with how the presentation went and had a nice question from the audience.  Then it was over, the first one lined up and knocked down.

Now, there’s no more need to munch down a pretzel-dog before a 3 hour poster presentation.  No more running from room 29 to 20D, across the entire quarter-mile convention center, in the Olympic-time 4 minutes calculated between the start of the questions section and the end of the following.  No more free goodies from vendors, who themselves are busy picking out bright-eyed grad students from well-funded labs.  No more coffee until … the next Starbucks, probably the one conveniently at the airport entrance and next to the security point and again next to the departure gate.  But it will all return again in 11 short months, when we will all again be putting together our presentations and posters that are promising, but not quite what we had hoped when we put together the abstract in October.

See you in Philly!


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