I was not thrilled with the conference this time, though. I have attended this meeting twice before, but it was in cities where I had lived, so there were lots of locals that I knew. This time, I knew about three people (and not well). I felt like a complete outsider- also because we didn't attend any of the social gatherings, including the lunch (that I paid for). I asked the organizer if D could come and just share my plate of food and she said it was OK, but only because there were some no-shows and she seemed quite irritated about it. We decided to go eat elsewhere.
I gave a poster instead of a talk and ran into that same old problem: "Are you a PhD student?" I played it off as a compliment that I look young, but was really quite annoyed about it. I'm almost 39! Is it so hard to believe that I am a tenured associate professor?? Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but it just brings up all sorts of confidence issues for me and I start second-guessing everything about my research. But then, that is silly, too- I am a co-PI on a federally-funded grant and was presenting research from that grant. Why should I feel like this? I don't seem to do well when I strike up conservations with other conference attendees, either.
The whole thing just gives me a major case of impostor syndrome (which I tend toward, anyway). I feel like never going to another conference and forgetting about ever going up for full professor, because I don't know how to schmooze or make connections within my discipline. Ugh.
I'm sorry to be such a Debbie Downer over here lately, especially because it doesn't reflect my actual mood most of the time (as those who know me on Facebook know). I am hoping to have a productive summer of research (yes- we've all hear THAT one before!), and get a paper written. Today, I am playing catch-up from my week away by writing a lecture for tomorrow and other teaching chores...
The conference was in a BEAUTIFUL place (I wish I could post pictures, but it would give me away- they're all on Facebook!) and we got to visit Adopted Home State before that, so the week away was definitely good for me. Now, if I can just survive these last two weeks of the semester!!!