…Yeah, my mind is all over the place today.
It‘s amazing how quickly stress-less time can turn into busy time. That‘s what happened to me last week. I suddenly found myself scrambling to make a poster presentation for a conference and, having received new baking dishes, baking new cake (if you don‘t understand what I‘m talking about, look here). The cake seems to be turning out better this time, so that‘s exciting.
However, most of my thoughts were occupied by the poster, since it‘s my first poster and all. I had made oral presentations in students’ science conferences before, but this is the first grown-up conference my work is going to be presented at. It‘s not a peer-reviewed paper, but I‘m still excited. Hm… there seem to quite a lot of excitement happening in my life right now.
Making the poster was a very enjoyable experience. I‘m the sort of person who likes making to-do lists and planning my time in a way that‘s most efficient; and I love jigsaw puzzles. So, I loved telling the story of my work in (mostly) pictures, trying to fit it all nicely and neatly into the allotted stretch of space.
The most interesting poster-making-related experience quite surprisingly was getting critique comments from folks at my home lab. Before this I had made slide presentations and got feedback from my supervisors but more people were involved in this, and this being more serious than a students’ conference, people looked rather closely at every detail. Also, since I‘m away, I got most of the comments in writing. It was rather amazing how two comments saying pretty much the same thing can be put in such ways that one makes you think “Oh, OK, these are good points, I should change this and that” and the other makes you feel as though your whole work is being called rubbish, which, I know, wasn‘t the commenter‘s intention and that‘s not what they said, but that‘s how the particular words that jumped right at me left me feeling for a short while until I got past the words and just took in the meaning. I‘m probably oversensitive (I‘m trying to work on that), I get invested in, well, (almost) everything I do. But I do think that words matter, especially if they‘re in writing, because they just stand there alone in front of you and you can‘t always tell what tone those words would have if spoken. Maybe I get hung up on words too much, but, really, I think, most people do that some times – have you noticed, for instance, how often a discussion/argument ends up trying to determine a meaning of a key word and it turns out that the sides fundamentally disagree on it? I guess, what I‘m trying to say is, first, that I should try to pay less attention to wording of people‘s e-mails, because obviously they have more important things to do than think about the words they choose, and second, that I suddenly realised how much I appreciate when people take that extra minute to read through before submitting any sort of written bit of communication.
Having read through and rewritten that last paragraph like 7 times, I’m still not sure if it carries my point across the way I want it to,
P.S. Oh, and one more exciting thing in my life right now: people read my blog, OMG! Comments are so exciting! 😀