Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back from trip #2

Another conference successfully survived! We're back from the second trip of the summer, and thankfully this should be the last trip, at least for the next month or so. The conference went well, and once again traveling with Baby Jane went very well, so all in all a successful trip! I have some posts about the conference and about motherhood in mind that I hope to get up in the next few days, and apparently I've been named a Rockin' Girl Blogger (thanks, addy n!) so I'll have to see what that's all about and probably post on that, but since I'm exhausted and brain-dead right now, I'll just post some random observations about the trip.

  • I am so proud of how well Baby Jane does on airplanes. The biggest compliment: Towards the end of our first flight, someone passing by said to us "Oh, what a cute baby!" and the guy sitting directly in front of me turned around in shock. He had no idea there was a baby sitting behind him. Sadly, I fear this will not be true forever.

  • I was so impressed that the vast majority of conference attendees actually listened to the session talks...until I discovered that there was no wireless access in the conference rooms. But no matter what the reason, I do think the level of questions and discussion after each talk was much better as a result.

  • I survived the day alone with Baby Jane. Unfortunately, the only times she was truly cranky was when I was trying to eat. Nothing like ordering a lunch or breakfast that you ultimately only eat a few bites of! (I guess that's one way to lose all that baby weight, though.)

  • My talk went extremely well again. But I realized that I don't get nervous before talks anymore. I actually think this is a problem: I think I actually do better when I'm nervous. I may post more on this.

  • I'm really struggling with the whole dichotomy between being a mom and being a professional. At some points during the conference, I was able to be away from Baby Jane and focus on being a computer scientist. At other times, I found it harder to do so. I also wonder if men feel the same struggle. This is definitely going to be expanded into its own post.

  • There are many things I enjoy about being a mom, but one thing I miss from my former life is being able to go out to dinner. Dinnertime is Baby Jane's fussy time, so we ate a lot of takeout after she fell asleep. I know this phase is short-lived, but still, I long to eat in good restaurants again!


Michelle said...

Congratulations on negotiating the walk between worlds. Baby Jane may continue to be a good traveler. My guys both started conferencing at young ages (10 days and 6 weeks to be precise) and now at 11 and 13 yrs continue to be seasoned, patient, well-behaved travelers.

I found it hard swapping hats, my spouse says he doesn't feel the same struggle (which goes a long way to explaining why when he took our then 3 yr old out for a walk while talking math with a colleague, he let the child fall unobserved into water over his head at the local creek - we can joke about it now....)

I've found the swapping roles gets easier with time (for many reasons), but that I still experience incipient brain explosion when they're both in my office during a work day.

Anonymous said...

public class FemaleCSPerson implements ComputerScientist, Teacher, Mother, Daughter {

public void doSomeProgramming() {}

public void giveATalk() {}

public void doParenting() {}

public void goForCoffeeAtParentshouse() {}


// This is you
FemaleCSPerson jane = new FemaleCSPerson();

// Time for a conference
ComputerScientist cs = jane;

// Back home
Mother mom = jane;

// etc.

Object-oriented programming at its finest!

MommyProf said...

I'm glad the conference went well. I am taking my Bun to a conference next month (she's 7 months) and worried about meeting her needs as well as getting done what I need to at the conference.

liketothelark said...

I have been told that nerves prior to speaking or performing can be useful, because they cause the release of adrenaline, which put you into a hyper-aware and observant state (or something like that).

It helps with the ability to be alert to all that's going on in the room, and still doing your talk.

Maybe one of your scientist readers can comment on the science behind that?

Jane said...

Michelle---10 days?! Good god! One of my seatmates on one of the recent flights had the same theory, that starting kids traveling early helped them get used to traveling. Sounds like that's true in your kids' case.

anon, very cute! I do feel like I'm trying to implement too many interfaces these days, and that not all of them are very well-defined. :)

mommyprof, I hear ya. I found it helpful to have very low expectations as to what I could get done (how many sessions I could attend, for instance). That way, if things went poorly, then I wasn't annoyed, and if things went well and I could attend more things, it felt like a bonus to me. Good luck!

liketothelark, I've heard that theory too, but don't know the science behind it. Any readers have any insight? I have found that being nervous makes me practice more beforehand....these days, I get really lazy about practicing my talk before I give it.