Several things I did and one thing I discovered while in Boston.
1. I presented a poster on my qualifying research project. I think my poster was a bore to the general conference attendees and it only catered to a tiny niche. However, there were several people who were interested and specifically came to look at my findings. It was nice being the first author of something. One person even asked me if my work has been published yet, so I guess that’s a great motivation for me to make neccessary revisions to my paper and submit it for publication.
2. I spent two days attending presentations by “celebrity researchers” in the field of PBS. I call them “celebrity researchers” because of their outstanding work and anyone in this field must know their names. The most interesting part of the presentation would be the question-and-answer at the end of the presentation because that’s when one can literally see the sharpness of their minds. So, I spent two days having minor crushes on several celebrity researchers, who are as old as my dad…hahaha.
3. On the last night of the conference, the professors took us out for a nice dinner at a seafood restaurant – a belated dinner to thank us, grad students, for our hard work in the research project. I had my first cosmopolitan, several raw oysters, and a combo of grilled swordfish, jumbo shrimp and crabcake. Pretty good dinner. The dinner conversation was centered around the issue of women and dressing, and where the line is when it comes to dressing “attractively” during presentations. I think the general consensus was that establishing female researchers should dress conservatively, and only female researchers who have gained celebrity status, and with good figures, may be able to carry off being dressed close-to or almost crossing the line.
4. There shouldn’t be a number 4 because other than attending presentations, I did nothing else. I did not do any of the work that I brought along with me. I did not even visit any touristy sites. But since I’ve done the touristy thing the last time I visited Boston, so it wasn’t a big deal being stuck in the hotel most of the time.
5. I discovered that I’ve trained myself to sleep in a very cold room. Since I turn off the heat when I sleep, I’m used to sleeping in a 15-16C room. During this trip, I learned that my friends required a temperature of at least 20C to sleep. While my hotel roommates are cosy underneath the down comforter in a 20C room, I’m hot and uncomfortable. So in the end I had to remove the down comforter and just used the flat-sheet as a blanket, which was a bummer because I was so looking forward to sleeping under a real down comforter. So who would have thought – a girl from a tropical country actually tolerated the cold better than those from temperate countries.