Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Holiday in the Holiday Inn

I'm attending a conference this week. I think conferences are like little holidays: I get to dress up, make dubious first impressions on lots of new people, eat plenty of mini desserts, marinate extensively in the hotel hot tub, and sleep sprawled out all by myself in a fluffy fresh king-sized bed each night. These are things parents don't often (EVER) get to do, and I find them immensely refreshing. Aaahhh.

In theory the conference-holiday is also educational in nature, but in practice ... well, in practice I'm actually a terrible student. It's not for lack of enthusiasm - I always get so pumped when I'm deciding which conferences to attend each year. I think, I'm going to learn so much! I'm going to think big, smart thoughts! This is going to be amazeballs! But then I have to sit still and listen to people yammer on all day and I am reminded anew that I have the attention span of an underachieving goldfish. At one conference I attended, I spent an entire day making words out of the letters in the periodic table. (To be fair, why would they leave something as distracting as a giant periodic table in the room?) At another I developed a decorative font for each member of my family. So far at this conference, the only notes I've written down are a list of awkward conference encounters and 65 different versions of my signature. Where have I been for the past 2 days?!

In an attempt to squeeze some good out of my inadequate attentional abilities, I humbly offer my dear readers the following thoughts - they're not big, they're not smart, but dammit they'll have to do:

First of all, it is a certifiable miracle that I made it through university. Shout out to my goldfishy-self for overcoming my own grievous limitations.

Secondly, since I went to the trouble of writing them down, I figure I might as well post my list of awkward conference encounters:

- People I'm stalking to secure consultation results, permits, and the like.
- People I'm stalking because they are biology rock stars and I secretly love them a little. (A lot.)
- People I'm stalking purely out of interest's sake, morbid fascination, or the like.
- People I've fired.
- People who were so offensive during their job interviews that I didn't hire them.
- People I've lost all respect for and will never work with again.
- People with oral hygiene issues.
- Work nemeses.
- Friends' creepy exes.
- Idiotic-question-askers.
- This one second cousin or something I have who I don't actually know at all but always run into at conferences.

And finally, my favourite word to spell with the periodic table: RhUBaRb.

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