I’m staying at a place around 2000m elevation in the mountains in western USA. As you can see, it’s cold. Since I got here on Sunday I haven’t been out, except for the 5-minute walk from my room to the main conference centre. The conference finished yesterday and nearly everyone has gone on a field trip today. I am feeling no better with my flu thing – in fact last night I even felt feverish again – and so I decided that spending all day on a bus on remote mountain roads and eating a picnic lunch by a freezing lake was more than I could cope with. It seemed much more appealing to stay in the warm and now quiet conference centre and relax.
So after feeling drained of life on Monday, the fever thankfully lifted in the early hours of Tuesday and I also managed to get through my talk without having a coughing fit. I think I had done just enough preparation, so that as I spoke it felt natural and smooth. I had reached a level of comfort with what I’m presenting that allowed me to almost have fun with it, to tell my story more freely and expressively than is normally possible for me. That felt pretty good actually.
I have had quite a lot of people come and speak to me about it, including the professors that know my supervisor. Even this morning a nice lady who missed my talk came to ask about it. I’m doing OK at explaining my work on that level as well and dealing with questions that are about clarifying or expanding on aspects of it. Where I fall down is in shying away from any sort of conflict. I just have this compulsion to agree with everyone, even when they’re criticising me. Totally non-assertive. But I’ll let myself off the hook for that, considering how happy I am with how it’s all gone in general. 🙂