Back to Work!
It is now JUNE, and as I was transferring my blog to WordPress in the past couple of weeks, I realized I never did write that last entry from my conference in Tucson I promised! So here is a very belated recap of my last days in Tucson!
My conference started on Monday, April 24th. In the evening, the usual networking dinners took place. The conference chair makes reservations around town, then we sign up based on either location of the restaurant or the cuisine. It is a good way to mingle and hang out with people you might not otherwise talk to. I picked a restaurant in the 4th Ave district of Tucson, as I wanted to check that out. Fourth Avenue is in a historic neighborhood and is home to a variety of shops, restaurant and eclectic boutiques. It is an easy, 20 minute walk from the University of Arizona campus, and the cool evening weather was perfect for sitting outside at chatting with fellow conference goers.
Tuesday consisted of more sessions, the highlight of which was my own presentation in the last slot of the day. This was my first time presenting at a conference, but I had practiced with my coworkers beforehand and their feedback and support really made a difference. As my presentation was the only thing standing between attendees and a happy hour drink or the conference fun walk/run later in the evening, I was pleasantly surprised that it was standing room only. My old boss Martha, who now works at New York University, got to introduce me, and that was neat. After the presentation, several people came up to me to congratulate me on a job well done and to ask me for more information on the topic I presented! I felt so happy and proud! 🙂
The conference fun walk/run took place in Sabino Canyon in the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains. We strolled for about 40 minutes down the paved path and enjoyed the desert scenery. The Sabino creek runs the length of the canyon and a series of bridges over it have been constructed. We did not see any wildlife, but a sign warning of a recent mountain lion sighting loomed over us as the sun set over the canyon. I walked with a fellow Bulgarian most of the way – he had seen or heard my name somewhere and came up to me to verify my nationality. 🙂
The Sabino canyon walk was an excellent way to end the day. We just had a half-day of sessions left the next day, then it was time to go home to La La Land. I am excited to cover one more national park and spend some time among the majestic Saguaros, but there is no place like home.