My manager's manager suggested I go to a conference because it was in seattle so I didn't need to travel. For a minute My panties were all in a bunch that it was sexist and annoying and reinforced my feeling that no one there is at all interested in my professional development- but as I picked my proverbial wedgie I remembered that it wasn't as though I'd asked to go anywhere so I got over it.
It was actually a bit of a pain to do a conference in town and required some schedule adjustment and spouse assistance. But driving into UW campus I realized how long it'd been since I was on a university campus and it felt exciting and nostalgic to be there.
The conference was mainly good. I always like seeing people who are so passionate about their work and love sitting in awe of the crazy cool ideas folks are investigating (I'm looking at you mr. Conjugating chemo drugs to activated T-cells for a double dose of killing power ). I left feeling motivated and like we have lots that we need to start doing- so it was a win.
I do think I have some serious attention deficit though- man some of those days are long. I also remembered just how tough the impromptu conversations are for me, though surprisingly easier now than when I was a student. Back the. I spent the whole time freaking out about what I would say next and how I could try to sound smart. While I still suffer deeply from it it is astonishing how deeply I felt like an imposter. Poor 21 year old self- that was a crappy feeling I'm glad you drowned it in sour patch watermelons and self pity.
I am also getting used to being the old lady research associate in the room full of 20 something ambition. Full of those who can't really imagine their academic lives not turning out ideally. It is actually a very comfortable place to be.
So I'm glad I went. I think I did learn valuable things for my company and I certainly got a few valuable life lesson refreshers for myself.
And finally, it was some big Panhellenic event wherein the ladies had to wear short dresses. Girls- for the love get coats or cardigans! Your north face fleeces were pulling up your dresses. And to the girl I gave heads up about this please think about the fact that you were walking amongst future "sisters" and none of them did you the same courtesy.
I found myself very preoccupied by the font choices of different speakers.