Friday, August 18, 2006
so, how did your talks in montreal go?
(photo by eszter-the-super-presider during my first talk)
I ended up only getting two hours of sleep before my back-to-back ASA talks last Friday. The first went all right, and, unlike one of the other members of my session, I didn't have the interesting distraction during my talk of a relatively-prominent-for-his-area sociologist using the occasion of my speaking to walk down the aisles handing out advertisements for a book he'd written.
The second talk went less well because of some AV problems that knocked me out of my comfort zone and into my far less engaging, um-ful zone. The problem was that I offered my computer to everyone to use during the session, but then I stepped out to use the restroom before the session began. Never leave your laptop alone in the hands of strangers. I came back to see them fiddling with my computer, and soon thereafter my screen turned blue with an error message that I had never seen before. Most of the two talks before mine were spent trying to get my machine to successfully reboot, which took three tries, during which I was planning the histrionic apology I would have needed to deliver to my collaborator had I been unable to present.
I was also the presider over a session the last day of the conference. I get anxious when I am the presider because I do not want to be one of those presiders who mismanages time in their session and ends up running long or cheating the last speaker out of time. Eszter is such a disciplinarian about this that she actually brought pre-printed signs to her session to show to speakers when they had 5 minutes and 2 minutes left. Me, I was glad there were napkins on the panel's table: