Been there, done that.

After six years of grad school, there are a few things I've picked up from personal experience and a whole lot of time talking with other female grad students (AKA procrastinating). I've always wished there had been some kind of handbook about how to handle the whole world of graduate school, so I figured I'd start a friendly place to discuss what it's like to be female in grad school, and maybe pass on some wisdom too!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Take Home Conference Messages

Every time I go to a conference for my field, I come home wondering where some of the people come from. For the most part there are a lot of really great people who put their best foot forward at these meetings and I really enjoy meeting them. Then there are the others. So, on a bit of a lighter note today, what not to do at a conference (all inspired by this past week's meeting):
  1. Don't go barefoot. Seriously. I saw not one, but two people wandering around the Hilton without shoes. Um. Yeah.
  2. If you're going to present, don't dress like you're headed to the bar for drinks. And then don't wonder why people aren't taking your quite so seriously.
  3. Don't go over time when you're already behind schedule, but think that because you're the moderator, you can still do it. Especially when you're reading your talk and it's a majorly dull topic.
  4. Don't NOT use statistics. Or don't use them poorly. Nothing will make me want to poke you more (and I'm no expert on the subject, but seriously, if you have data, at least analyze it!).
  5. Don't spend your whole talk discussing the stats you used to look at your data. Your talk should say something more than an equation--unless, ya know, you're at a math conference.
  6. When meeting someone new, don't spend fifteen minutes bragging about how Berkeley asked you to design a class around your material from last year and now you're lecturing there for the benefit of all. Because I just don't care. Sorry.
  7. Don't see your former/current TA and point and whisper with your friends while she can still see you. (This is especially good to note when she still has your paper and final to grade. Not that I would actually let that influence me...but it did piss me off.) TA's are people too.
  8. Don't be boring. If you can help it. I mean, I know I'm guilty of this, but the best talks are the ones that are engaging (and maybe even make you laugh a bit). At least act like YOU are interested in your topic.
Okay, that's all I've got. But really, the conference was a good one. I loved the session I was in and found it really interesting. I loved getting to see a few people I haven't had a chance to chat with in a while, and I really enjoyed getting some new information out of them. Lots of good stuff there. I also loved seeing the people wandering around barefoot and finding it highly amusing. Ahhh. Gotta love it!

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