April 2, 2009

AAPAs - Day 1

Well, I'm already overwhelmed. My first task was to get my poster up - at 8am. I made it to the ballroom around 8:20, and my poster-mates had already set theirs up. Unfortunately, theirs is too large. (To be fair, mine is 2" too wide, because I misread the limits as 4' wide by 3'10" tall, but it's the other way around.) Theirs, however, is like 8" too wide. I couldn't find them anywhere, and there was no way my poster was going to be legible on the right-hand side, so I moved their poster. It was too large, after all. Now both posters are very nearly completely legible, although you have to kind of read around the curve of the posters at the end of the corkboard. I left a note. I'm sure it'll show up on the passive-aggressive notes website, but I didn't feel right *not* leaving a note. The worst part of it is, these people are colleagues of one of my friends.

So that was irritating, but then I started running into people. A British colleague expressed surprise and delight at my giant belly. An Italian colleague jumped off an escalator to come say hi to me - which was weird only because I'd only met him twice (and had to surreptitiously glance at his name tag), and it was well over 18 months ago in a completely different context (i.e., Rome), and I've gained a ton of weight since then. I returned my poster tube to the hotel room and decided to head to a paper session for an hour - unfortunately, it was completely full. Standing room only. And I just don't care enough about the papers to stand for an hour.

Mostly, though, it's weird to walk around a conference and have people staring at me. Seeing a woman 8 months pregnant at a conference is apparently not common at all.


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