Hey all! I’m back from the first two of my three conferences, enjoying this little break before I head out to Heidelberg, Germany tomorrow for the third conference! Epic…
How have you guys been? I am all right, despite having a pretty major breakdown about science/life/careers/etc right before I left for the first conference (more on that when I get back from Germany). Both conferences turned out to be really fun.
First I was in San Antonio for SACNAS where I was one of three graduate students from the University of Colorado recruiting future grad students and students for our summer research program (SMART). SACNAS is awesome because it’s both a science conference (with talks and poster presentations etc) but also a huge celebration of all of the cultures that make up this country. It is just such a fun and supportive place to be (just what I needed after feeling so down the day before)! Plus I had a great time bonding with my fellow graduate students. They helped me finish the poster I presented in Boston (and will present in Heidelberg). It turned out really nicely so I am super grateful for their help!
After recruiting at SACNAS, I took off for Boston for the Salmonella conference! I ended up flying with a bunch of retired Texans who were heading to the east coast to watch the leaves turn. We bonded right away in line for the airplane and it made for a pretty funny experience. Upon arriving in Boston, I met up with my lab mate Titanium and my boss and we headed to the conference together. The conference was kind of intense… who knew there could be 5 days worth of talks (and posters) about Salmonella?! For the most part it was very interesting and exciting to learn about all the different ways people can go about studying such a vicious pathogen. I now feel inspired to build my own super team of scientists from all scientific backgrounds to try to answer some really hard question (let me know if you want to join… I’m going to make us matching T-shirts!). It was also fun because 1) there were people from all over the world attending the conference (new friends!!!!) and 2) Boston turned out to be a really fun city to explore! I can’t wait to share some of my adventures with you but for now I will leave you with these pictures.
And now I am off to Heidelberg for my final conference. I have been learning some German words/phrases (turns out German is a SUPER fun language to learn) while traveling to my other two conferences. How exciting! Also, I just got an e-mail from some friends over there who are going to pick me up as soon as I get to my hotel and take me exploring! I feel so lucky and excited for this opportunity but also nervous about traveling so far away (even though I just went to Paris) and terrified that I am going to get sick… Maybe I should go buy some Emergen-C….
Now it’s your turn: tell me anything! If you are unsure where to start, you can tell me about a time where you did a lot of traveling in your life. How did you keep from getting sick? How did you go about exploring where ever you were (eating at various restaurants, going on tours, walking around, etc)? What is your favorite activity to keep from getting bored on the airplane? :)
So… in addition to all the other craziness going on in my life right now, I am gearing up to go to not one, not two, but THREE consecutive conferences next week. First step is SACNAS, a conference for minority STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) students that is near and dear to my heart. I went last year to recruit people for CU and I guess I did such a good job that they asked me to go back this again year! Yay! I am super excited about that! Also SACNAS is in San Antonio, TX this year and I have never been there… oooo new place! Then directly after that, I fly to Boston to attend a conference about Salmonella (for those of you that don’t know, that is what I am studying for my research project) with my friend Titanium and my boss. I have never attended a conference with my boss before so that should be fun. Also, a lot of big name Salmonella people should be there so it will be awesome to meet them and hopefully they can help me with the still mysterious parts of my project. After all of that, I fly back to Colorado for ~ 48 hours before taking off to go to Heidelberg, Germany (!!!!) for a conference about new techniques in microbiology. It is going to be awesome because there will be scientists from all over the world attending this conference! I feel very lucky/excited that I get to go to Europe twice in one year but I am also super nervous because I know absolutely NO German. At least in France, I could read signs and talk to people in my sub par/super slow/sometimes Spanish French. So that will be interesting…. Seeing how I got slightly culture shocked upon landing in France, I’ve bookended my trip to Germany with people that I know in the hopes that that should ease the transition to visiting another new country.
Now it’s your turn! Have you been to/lived in San Antonio, Boston, or Heidelberg? What should I definitely check out/eat/do there? Any travel tips for traveling with a poster roll as my second carryon (thrilling…)?
In other news, what have you guys been reading lately? I just finished Patrick Ness’ newest young adult book More Than This and I am still reeling from the crazy ending! Whoa!
PS – Patrick Ness is one of my favorite authors if you’re looking for a new set of books to read…
This weekend, I got to fly to Seattle for SACNAS, a conference for minority students in science/math/engineering/etc. I know I have many friends in Seattle so before you get mad at me for not telling you I would be up there, know that I spent the majority of my time in Seattle recruiting students to come to grad school at CU and talking to potential future employers. I did get to spend a lot of time with my sister who was also at the conference with her grad school. It was a ton of fun to wander around the conference with her. We got stuffed stem cells from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center booth, caught up on our lives (the last time we saw each other was for my wedding), and kind of freaked people out. “Uh… Are you guys… related?” Ahahahaha… My first day in Seattle, we headed to the aquarium before going to the conference. I loved the Seattle Aquarium when I was in Washington for undergrad so it was nice going back. We learned a lot of neat facts about fish and marine mammals.
Here are some pictures from our day at the aquarium (taken with my iPhone because I didn’t feel like flying with my DSLR):
The octopus was lurking in the corner of its tank…
We really liked this fish!
There’s a cuddlefish hiding in this picture…
Sisters in Seattle! Look at the sweet skull hat she found for me! :)
Picture at the top – Mt. Rainier, which is the 14’er that looms over Seattle, and the mountains to the south of it. I took that picture from the plane.
It was so nice being back in Washington after so long. I love that state. Seattle is probably one of my favorite cities in the US. Plus I got to see my sister, which was awesome. Booo… I hate that we live so far apart… :(
What did you guys do this weekend? What is your favorite city in the US? Have you been to Seattle (next time I go, I promise I will go for a longer time and I will actually let people know so we can hang out!)? Do you live far away from your family? How do you handle that? It makes me sad. :(