Thursday, June 26, 2008
Back from Minneapolis, home for two days, on the road tomorrow. Still not sure which way I'm heading first; today's task is figuring that out!
Evolution meeting was great. Phylogeography is the trendy topic these days so lots of talks on that, and I took copious notes on software and analysis methods. I saw so many phylogeo talks that eventually I stopped going to them because I wasn't learning anything new. I presented my poster on Sunday and had some nice conversations with people about my project. It wasn't the most exciting poster there but it also wasn't the worst, and the pretty green background worked well. I had the misfortune of being sandwiched between vampire bats and something impressive-looking with circumpolar birds, and my poor poster sometimes was hidden by overflowing crowds. Next year I'll have so much more to say about my project - I'm excited but I'm sure I'll have to do a talk instead of a poster... *eek*
I went through the same stages that I go through at every conference. The first day or two, I'm excited about my research and I feel confident and capable and just as brilliant as everyone else. Then the unworthiness and panic set in and by the end of the conference I'm convinced I'm in the wrong field, my project is subpar in several ways, and I'm not smart enough to properly analyze the data that I generate. I kind of wish those two stages would switch around. Instead of returning home feeling motivated and excited, I feel terrified and inept. Luckily I'm on my way to do more collecting; that at least is something I know how to do.
On the way to the 'L' yesterday morning: