I’m going to start near the end of research. I have my reasons mostly this was a fun time that if a friendship had not been cemented before was, in my mind, firmly cemented by the end. The answer to the age old question, “Was it cold in Minneapolis?” is depends.
When Paul, Liz, and I arrived in Minneapolis it was snowing and cold, but not Michigan or POLAR VORTEX cold. By the next morning, it was nothing special. So yes, it was for a brief moment, but that may have had to do more with being stuck in a car than the actual temperature. That being said…
We were in Minneapolis for my first communications conference where I was going to be presenting my research poster. I will cover the details of the research in another post, so just pretend it was very smart. A few words about our poster, Paul and I cannot help but do things differently. Our poster, did not have either our names on it, had a really odd title (designed in our heads to get people over), looked like a comic book page with a really good visual flow design (people’s eyes would naturally flow from box to box), and had a “intentional” spelling error. About that last one, we knew about the spelling error, but only after the poster had been printed, thus we left it to see who would notice the spelling error, which was in a way related to the research-remember really smart research.
I was excited to present my poster to whomever stood in front of it, but I was on my cane because my “Shaun White” injury decided to act up, I was standing under a really hot light (we thought the light would be good for the poster), I was wearing underware for the first time in decades, and I was wearing “nice” clothes…read not fatigues and a clever T-shirt. Paul was nearby in case anyone asked questions that I had no clue to and Liz was wandering the conference.
Scene set, I should mention that this was also one of the rare occasions where I was away from my family and I missed them. As soon as the poster presentation began I immediately noticed several things:
- I did not need to dress up there were a few people dressed much worse than I ever dress
- I did not need nor should I ever wear underware as they are distracting to someone, me, who hasn’t worn them in forever
- Other schools actively support their representatives with many people
- Our poster was the coolest looking, but that was a problem as it violated expectations
Knowing my research, on one leg, sweating from nerves, uncomfortable in my clothes, and the hot light (I don’t remember how many glasses of water Paul got me, but it was a lot) I waited. I was good. I would like to say awesome, but it took a few people for me to get into a groove and by the time I did, the bowties arrived.
Prior to the bowties were three intellectual types who read the poster, did not notice the typo, and the proceeded to argue amongst themselves over the various approaches and findings. They never asked me anything, just stood there arguing until at some hidden signal they moved on, still arguing. As they argued, I watched the crowd and saw my clothing nemesis approaching, the bow-tie.
Three well-dressed young men in suits and bow-ties. I cannot take the bow-tie seriously, I cannot help but smirk, giggle, and laugh. I did not want to do that to these men, as they were interested and asking interesting questions. So, smirk lodged firmly in place, I decided the best could do is not look them in the face region. It did not work, I knew the bow-ties were there and I…I didn’t laugh until they left, but laugh I did. Damn you bow-ties.
A little while later the poster presentation ended and the congratulatory buffet dinner began. Without a doubt, this is where you saw schools that supported their student-researchers. It was nice to see how schools supported their students and made hope that Ferris does the same for their future students.
Next up, Part II