Surprise Conference

A brief and blissful reprieve

There are some times in this crazy academic lifestyle which make all of the hardships and woes entirely worthwhile. This, my dear readers, right here and right now. This is precisely one of those moments.

As I type this, I’m enjoying the cool night air of Leiden in The Netherlands, enjoying a brief reprieve from everything prior to heading to a conference tomorrow morning. A conference which, I might add, I’m still partially mystified as to how I’ve found myself at. But then, this is a conference with no registration fee, so if someone agrees to pay for both my flights and my accommodation, I’d be foolish to say no, wouldn’t I?

Ahh, I’ve missed conferences. While they’re by no means a holiday, they do tend to be a break from bureaucratic doldrums. A pleasant retreat, in which to focus on the things which really truly matter to you, work wise. The sciencey things and exchange of ideas which are, let’s be honest, one of the main reasons why we crazy scientist types do what we do.

Life has been rather a whirlwind since the PhD vivapocalypse if I’m honest. I’ve been busily trying to take care of rather more than I can handle. Meanwhile, one by one, familiar faces have been slowly disappearing from my life. I love that people are going to different places to work on the things which enthuse and excite them, but it’s undoubtedly bittersweet to see them go. Particularly when, in some cases, I don’t know if and when I may see them again.

In any case, I’ve allowed a few things to lapse this month. My writing in particular. In fairness, I have had thesis corrections, a fellowship for which to make arrangements, and materials to prepare for the conference which I’m now at. But now, away from the stresses of my usual routine, I have a little chance to take stock of things. Perhaps, as I sit here on a Dutch hotel balcony drinking black tea and listening to Cœur de Pirate, I should resolve to try and maintain a little more order in my chaotic little world.

In any case, this is set to be an exciting week. Both discussing my work and that of others. There are bound to be a few exciting ideas thrown about. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

This whole thing seems to be rather serendipitous if I’m honest. But that’s just the way this life works sometimes. Occasionally, exciting events and opportunities just happen to fall into my lap. I always like to take the time to enjoy these little academic windfalls. Besides. It’s been a difficult year for me in all kinds of ways. I think I’ve earned this.

Life seems to always keep me guessing. I wonder where I’ll float next

It's so nice to see the clouds from up close, for a change.

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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