A little bit bitch and a little bit buddhist always at the intersection of biology, gender, race, and culture. This blog documents my experience as a Canadian postdoc living and working in the United States. I can't promise to be PG13. In fact I promise not to be PG13.
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Every time I go to a conference, for some reason, I do something that is incredibly embarassing.
Last time the conference was very small and so everyone gets to know everyone. As we were leaving the auditorium and in front of a large group of some very senior scientists I ran head first into a glass wall and fell backwards. One of the people I admired most, Dr.RockPaper came over and exclaimed, "Oh my god are you okay?" Seriously, I didn't see the wall. And having bruised my ego, my glasses, and my head, I stumbled away in shame mumbling, "Yes, just hurt a little." Later at the poster session, Dr.RockPaper asked me in front of one of the most senior scientists in the field if I was okay. And then proceeded to explain to this senior scientist what had happened.
This year, I don't know how I did it, but I walked straight into the men's washroom. Standing in front of me was the symposium speaker in a state of, shall we say, undress. Exclaiming, "oh my gosh you're not a woman," I ran out. Thankfully, this conference was large and hopefully he'll forget my face.
Maybe next year, I'll run head first into a glass wall in the men's washroom. Sheesh.
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Sorry about it. But I have to say it.
And it had to be the symposium speaker, not a random attendee.
Where is the pic from?
I found it on google images but it came from a website http://deadcity.ca/press/?p=686. I don't think they captured the original image.
The new feature of google images where you can drag and drop an image into the search bar is made of awesome.
The original comes from a Federico Fellini's movie The Nights of Cabiria (which doesn't seem to be such a humourous movie)
Tee hee. I have a friend who is the same way at conferences. One year, he wanted to talk to someone after their talk so went to the front of the conference room and stood among what he thought was a group of other people with a similar intent. As he's standing there waiting his turn, he slowly realizes that people have fallen silent and are kinda staring at him. This is the moment he realizes these are not people who are waiting to talk to the speaker, these are the speakers friends and he has just awkwardly inserted himself into the group and stood there silently. He's got a few others, but that was particularly amusing.
Hilarious!! But I'm pretty sure that you're not the only person who's done these sorts of things as you describe in your post. I bet that people don't want to say for fear of embarressment.
@Anthea I hope so. Come on people share the embarassment.
I've been lucky in keeping my clutzy dork moments away from conferences so far. I think my personal best clutz moment was when I managed to trip over my own pants while still wearing them. These were perfectly normal boot cut Levis, and I've worn them many times without incident, but somehow, I managed to catch my toe one the hem, and down I went.
I have also fallen off of charter buses (more than once), but so far, there haven't been any major biffs at conferences. Of course, with two more to go to this fall, my lucky streak may not last.
@MissMSE "I have also fallen off of charter buses..." Awesome.
I was so nervous during my first talk at a major national conference, that I dropped my laser pointer mid-sentence. I just bent over picked it up, and kept going, only feeling embarrashed afterwards --I was so flooked with nerves there was no space for other emotions. I think some people smiled and chuckled - the could tell I was nervous. Good times.