NCUR + Real Life

I’m back from NCUR! All in all, i would say it was a good, if frustrating and stressful, experience.

I gave my speech yesterday, and the room was pretty packed. The second presenter didn’t show up, so we had lots of extra time. After I finished presenting my paper (which I had labored over all week), there were about 5 minutes of Q&A, and then the moderator said that we should just continue the Q&A session until people ran out of questions.

I’d say that I’m glad I freaked out so much about the speech – people asked tough questions, but I had the knowledge to be able to answer them thoroughly after poring over my notes for a full week straight. I also had a pretty broad audience, from people who were there to learn about wind energy to people who wanted to hear more about American Indian issues. All in all, I feel really good about the way it went, and feel more equipped to write a paper that could (potentially) be published now.

Some things I have discovered:

1. I am an incredibly relaxed traveler. This is something I’ve kind of known for a while, but it was reinforced by this trip in particular.

2. I love mountains, and would love to live in a place that has them.

3. Missoula is an interesting place. I wish I’d had more time to explore it (I had to prep for my own presentation, as well as see other presentations). It was also hard to get around, because our hotel was all the way out in a weird hotel/chain store section of the town. Note to self: Go back to Missoula at some point.

4. I usually know what I’m talking about when presenting my own research. I should trust my capabilities.

In non-research related news, I came home and crashed last night. I woke up this morning to discover that our fridge had died at some point while I was gone. I don’t know when it died, but everything in the freezer was completely thawed.

After this unpleasant discover, I spent the morning cleaning out the fridge, and talking to the landlady about it. She’s going to replace the fridge and we won’t have to pay for it, but damn. That really sucks. Among my long list of things I didn’t want to do today, that has to be pretty high up there.

At least I finally got my books on India! I can start learning the devanagari script, and start reading about this amazing place that I’m going to next semester. Summer is so close I can taste it, and I’m probably going to be so busy this next month that summer will come before I know it.

Life is looking good, despite my issues with the fridge. Tonight is for finishing up small projects before the week, and then watching the beginning of Season 3 of Mad Men. All in all, life is pretty awesome.

Pictures from St. Louis coming soon! I swear! I just need to find my camera chord …

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