So the short story is that I'm not going to the Grace Hopper conference this year.
The long story is not all that interesting, but I'll tell it anyway.
As usual, the task of organizing/rallying the undergrads fell to me, so I spent the latter part of last month "recruiting", in a sense. And worrying about the initial lack of response from the students. And stressing about finding funding so that I could go.
A few days ago, I was searching online for flights, hotel, registration information, etc., and mentally composing the email that I'd have to send to the dean in charge of discretionary funds. And...I had to stop. I just couldn't do it, didn't want to do it, was just getting all sorts of stressed out about it.
It was about that time that I realized that maybe I'd be happier skipping out on GHC this year.
I was very conflicted about this. I love going to GHC, love the environment, love being in a place where I don't feel so darned weird about being a woman in computing. I love taking undergrads, many of whom have never been to a conference before, and seeing them experience a whole other side of CS. I love the energy, love the ideas I hear about and bring back with me, and love meeting other women in CS, particularly other junior women faculty.
But I just couldn't stomach the thought of going to yet another conference at this point. I knew I'd have to do some serious juggling, just like I did in the last two conferences, between baby care/breastfeeding/pumping and conferencing/networking. And this time, I'd have to add in the whole traveling-with-students thing, too. All three of those things, individually, takes a lot of energy, and I just don't feel like I have the energy to do any of that right now, much less all of that. I'm exhausted already; the trip might just kill me.
So I've decided to skip out this year. On the one hand, I'm disappointed. On the other hand, I'm relieved. I figure there will be plenty of time for the whole work/baby care balance circus to play itself out once I go back to work; the longer I can defer that, and enjoy my time at home with Baby Jane, the better.