Monday, January 31, 2011

Observations of a Chemistry Conference

A couple of weekends ago, I attended a chemistry conference out-of-town. It was paid for which translated into, "We own you now so you will not have a moment free this weekend." I had class Friday from 2-9 PM (with a 10-minute break and an hour for dinner). Saturday was all day - about 12 hours worth. I cut the "free" dinner and ate dinner with my hubby. Sunday morning was full, too. The good thing was (1) despite the busyness of the conference, I learned a lot of things and met some great fellow chemists and (2) made some great observations. Enjoy!

1. Already 30 minutes behind after the first speaker. Bye-bye break!

2. My attention is refocused when I hear the next speaker: a New York gangster. Or at least he has the accent. I imagine his chemistry talk is code for money laundering and getting somebody whacked.

3. About 90% of the chemists there are coffee addicts. The other 10% are at least caffeine addicts. Blame it on grad school.

4. In one of our sessions, they wanted us (about 200 chemists) to organize ourselves by our geographical location. It was chaotic. The speaker remarks, "Finding a seat in here is like taking a pchem exam!"
Don't get it? Congratulations! You are not a nerd.

5. Apparently, I'm not the only one tired. Speaker is talking with her eyes closed. Or maybe she's just shy.

6. In the lobby, I run into nerdier people than me. They are wearing bright yellow sashes that read, "Ambassadors of Chemistry." It's like a beauty pageant. No, it's like a nerdy pageant. And the inner nerd in me really wanted to wear a sash too.

7. I sit by a Southern Belle during dinner who tells us during dinner, "They'll [administration] work you till you die." (You have to say it in your best Scarlett O'Hara accent.)

8. Witness an actual poll of chemists married to other chemists. There were two out of 200. There's a reason for that. I can say that - I'm a chemist.

9. Breakfast was at 6:30 AM. Yes, that's right. I managed to get down there at 7:15 AM to gobble down my food. So did everybody else. Except those crazy East Coast chemists.

10. Free starbucks! When I return to my class with a cup, I am told by another chemist, "You're one of those people. You get starbucks, and now you have a twinkle in your eye."

11. Finally, I overhear this comment, "You got a lot of oxidation going on there with your apple."


April said...

Ha ha! Very funny! :)

Amber said...

#6 is my favorite!