Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Overwhelmed

I figured I had better write something before you all give up on me and leave me for dead. The conference last week had some ups and downs but all in all was productive and I am pleased with the job leads I got. Since I am still lacking in free time, let me just give you some of my thoughts about the last week or so.

  • My left middle toe is still numb from having to wear heels for 5 consecutive days. I swear to God I don't know how some of you ladies do it. My two female lab mates and I were literally hobbling by Friday afternoon. No more heels. Until the March American Physical Society Meeting.

  • This meeting was pretty important for me as far as trying to figure out what I want to do after graduating in the spring. My best networking was done at my poster presentations. My worst was done at the designated "networking events". Can I just add that I hate hate hate networking?

  • The first networking event was a session chair's dinner that I attended with Dr. Hari, who was a session chair and his wife was working so I got to be his guest. The "dinner" consisted of finger food, very little of which I found edible. A lot of seafood stuff which I don't like. There were these little beef tenderloin pieces on toasted baguette slices with horseradish sauce that was quite good. I had about four of those, which wasn't enough to counter all the free wine I drank.

  • The free wine (and empty stomach) coupled with the guy I saw wearing a skin-tight (likely intended for women) Hooter's football jersey led to an out of control giggling fit later that night at the key note address. Not my fault, that is a totally inappropriate garment for a magnetism conference. Just saying.

  • The Women in Magnetism networking dinner was lame. Last year there were about 25 women and a couple men from industry who were looking at specifically hiring women to diversify their groups, which I found to be alright. This year there were about 50 women (which was good) but also lots of male graduate students. I'm sorry, but the Women in Magnetism dinner was supposed to be a place where we didn't need to compete with men for networking opportunities. Although I strongly believe the problem of women being under represented in physics needs to be addressed through communication between the sexes, a forum seems to be the better place to accomplish that. Include men in the Women in Magnetism networking dinner, and you just have a regular old networking dinner that doesn't specifically help women in the least. On top of that, there were a few people I wanted to speak with, but the conversation they were having was dominated by an overbearing professor from a university I had no intention of applying to who proceeded to grill me about my teaching experience. I stayed for appetizers and wine, then headed to Tijuana Flats with my lab mates.

  • I met e.b.'s friend. That rocked. She approached me, introduced herself and cryptically announced that we shared a mutual friend. The world truly is a small place.

  • Festivities went on until Friday night. Saturday I dozed all day and had to trap kitties for Sunday's Spay Day. I took a break last month after the shooting incident. I'm still troubled enough by it that I had a hard time with recovering the kitties since the one I lost was one I had just finished recovering. Turns out I trapped her brother who was just as docile as she was.

  • This week I am resuming experiments, following up with contacts I made at the conference and digging into the daunting task of beginning to write. Yep, it's the big one.


6 comments:

e.b. said...

yeah, you survived! glad to see you've surfaced. hopefully other good things can come of it. hey and now you know another woman in magnetism.

Katie said...

Ugh, forced networking is never enjoyable. At least your toes can recover now :)

hhboots said...

Do you have photos of " Hooter Man ?"

Jeni said...

I fail to understand WHY at a Women's Networking thing they would even think of "inviting" men? Defeats the purpose doesn't it? Ok, I'm probably brain dead on that kind of stuff but well, just seems that way to me anyway. And, I hate, hate, hated trying to figure out how and with whom I could possibly "network." Didn't have near enough connections any place to make that work at all for me and my needs.

Beth said...

It's good to see you checking in. I've missed seeing you around the old blog.

Minnesotablue said...

You've never had a challenge that you didn't meet!