Friday, June 02, 2006

dispatch from aspen

The low point of the conference was when a prominent sociologist whom I hadn't before met mistook me in front of many people for a prominent health economist who is in at least his mid-fifties. This low point was compounded when later someone invoked the same health economist in talking about the distinction between the near-elderly and actual elderly. It was compounded yet again by someone else bringing it up in order to say earnestly that, once he thought about it, the health economist and I did sort of look like one another.

One nice thing about how the conference is organized is that they give you three hours off in the afternoon, and it was a beautiful day for hiking or walking here in Aspen. I spent the three hours sitting in my hotel room trying to re-download and re-install Acrobat on my Tablet PC so that I could do some last-minute checking of articles before submitting a paper for a deadline today. Acrobat still doesn't work properly, and to submit the paper I ended up having to e-mail the paper to someone else and have him convert it to pdf so I could submit it.* Given that this was easily the most frustrating block of time I've had wrestling with a computer in awhile, I'm not sure what it says about me that I identify being mistaken for someone 20+ years older than me as the conference low point instead.

The conference itself has been great. My own presentation went ok. One of my fellow-fellows at Harvard, a sociologist who does qualitative (ethnographic) research, gave an absolutely impressive talk today, one that made me effervescent with sociology pride.

* I do adore the tablet, except the configuration is so slow and buggy and I can't figure out whether it's just aspects of the set-up or something more endemic to the Tablet OS. I'll feel bad if it's the latter, as I think my enthusiastic endorsement and ostentatious notetaking might have convinced two other fellows to buy Tablets.


dorotha said...

more funny, less complain-y.

Anonymous said...

Wait twenty years. People you never met before will often say something then that reveals they think you're a sibling of your parents ( who are in the same room) -- silly people.
But seriously, you might consider face hair. That can look quite nice, especially if you're creative about it.

If YOU say your talk was 'ok', it means it went very well, and I'm glad.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy had a beard in graduate school.

Absolut said...

I thought people usually go the facial hair route for looking older.

Regarding bad moments about looks, I was recently asked if I was pregnant. I'm nowhere near pregnant. You can imagine how that felt! (Mind you, who asks that question?! She was pregnant, but does that make it okay??)