Monday, October 21, 2013

Biology Retreat

There is this yearly tradition at the biology department where we escape the confines of the lab for wide open space of nature! Or at least the confines of a conference center out in the middle of the woods ;) Every lab is allowed to send one graduate student to give a talk and as many poster presenters as they want (translate everyone else in the lab brings a poster!). Obviously I've only been here 2 months so I don't have to do one right??

Wrong! I got to present my project idea with very preliminary data! Weeeeee!! I also had to do it as multiple PowerPoint slides printed out and taped up and not a single big sheet of poster paper like the rest of the professionally looking ones. The walls were covered in posters, the windows were covered in posters and even the doors.. where mine ended up! It was a pretty pathetic poster as you can see....

One of the professors was like oh hey look old school! Yes.. my poster is retro.. was totally going for that.. Thankfully I got a lot of positive feedback, excitement to see how the experiment works out.

There were several rounds of talks, then the poster session in the morning before we had lunch and some free time. Which to a bunch of biologists out in the fall woods means HIKING! The conference building sat up at the top of a hill, with beautiful, colorful trees, a lake and a few trails. One of the trails we took had a rope you had to use to pull yourself up the steep incline, no joke. It was highly amusing to watch my professor and lab mates try to get up the incline. I was able to get up but boy did I pay for it a few days later. I think we must have missed the trail because the way back down was almost straight down! A bunch of grad students formed a human chain to help people down, I took the more adventurous route and slide down the leaves/mud like a surfer :) Pretty sure someone got it on their iPhone.. though mercifully it has not shown up yet!

It started to rain while we were on our way back, thankfully it was refreshing rain as we were so hot from the up and down portion. When we got back to the center there were more talks before clean up and head back to the lab.

The day after the conference, one of the other new grad students asked me on the way out of class if I just ran out of time to do my poster and that's why I had to print multiple slides instead of the big professional one. Nope.. just have an adviser who is economically minded and it's a few dollars to print this way and almost $100 to print the big ones. I find it embarrassing though that it's assumed I couldn't get my act together in time to make a real poster.. the first impression I'm after!

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