Finally back from RSNA. Even 32 hours is too long for a conference for me...
I feel a little bad saying stuff like that, but the truth is that I just don't ever leave a conference feeling like I have gained particularly much from it. Typically, most talks are not very good, and even if the talks are good, they're usually so quick, and the research is so complex that I can hardly even begin to wrap my brain around what folks are talking about. There are often no other student from our program, and if there are, it seems to be about 50/50 that they either have other plans or are not really interested in going out. Couple that with not eating normal meals (i.e. not eating healthy meals), sleeping in a different place, not having your normal routine, and it's all just kind of a recipe for coming home tired, grumpy, and frustrated. In my lack of engaging activity last night, I wandered out to the end of Navy Pier, got caught in a rainstorm and 40 degree weather, but otherwise had a really nice time. Given the weather, it was quite quiet out there... on the service entrance side of things.
I at least had a presentation at this conference (first one! Here's the abstract) and it went pretty well. I was pretty nervous (let's not discuss how many layers of clothing I managed to sweat through...) but once I got rolling I was able to rein in the worst of it. I got plenty of questions, and had three or four people come up to me after the session to talk about various aspects of what I presented. All in all it was a nice little boost since I was otherwise feeling a little down on my work. I also pitched my dissertation idea to one of the other higher ups and got some pretty positive feedback about it. So yeah. Pretty cool. :-)
I managed to get some drawing in, which in my opinion was some of the most valuable time I spent. I like drawing people the most, but still feel a little weird doing so. Also, RSNA is so crowded that it's impossible to get even a second of privacy. I'm going to add the the landscapes to the sketchbook, but the other couple will just live here.
Hope everyone's week is off to a good start.