Well, poo. I wrote this once before, let's see if it decides to save this time. I have a free half hour of internet before I have to shell out money. I am currently in the Lisbon airport waiting for my next flight to Newark. Yesterday was my last day in the Azores and it was appropriately rainy and gross. Although, not terribly gross, and I have an appreciation that it must rain sometimes to sustain the beautiful lush greenery on the island.
The last of the cephalopod talks were yesterday and I think I have made myself known as a cephalopod biologist. I attended every cephalopod themed talk (except those that occurred in a different symposium, concurrent with the one I was in) and made sure to make some introductions. I didn't talk to as many people as I probably should have, but I did feel as though I learned a lot. There was a dinner for the cephalopod people on Thursday night which I regretfully missed... I had not written down the name of the restaurant and didn't manage to find anyone with the information. So, that was a bummer. But perhaps if I end up writing to any of these people in the future, they might be able to remember my face from the crowd. Also, thanks to Steven, I got a lot of attention due to my amazing tentacle bling.
I am very motivated now to get back and finish up--I WILL FINISH MY PHD! I feel some inspiration to move on to new and exciting things. It is going to be hard, but I think I have a clearer picture of what I need to do now. Also, after watching everyone else's talks, I am pretty sure the next talk I do will be much better.
I had to leave before the conference dinner so that I could catch my flight, but I think it is alright since I am pretty sure that is when they give out awards to student speakers. I know I didn't get one. They were very disorganized at the start of the conference and I am suspicious that they forgot to have the two evaluators that were supposed to be there. Even so, I didn't do my best and hopefully I will have another opportunity to prove myself in a conference setting.
I bought some goodies on my way out to bring back some souvenirs from the beautiful Azores. I bought a couple tins of packaged fish, one thing of sardines and one of calamari! I couldn't decide if they would take them away since they had liquid inside, but I thought since they were packaged and had never been opened it might be alright. I was wrong, of course. Oh well, I took a picture of them and decided to move on. It was really the packaging that was the best part about it. Oh poo, I should have kept the packaging, they threw it out anyway. Well, my brain clearly wasn't working at that point. I really didn't want to check my bag, so I just said skip it. The wrote down my name and I felt like some kind of truant.
I think I am about to run out of internet so I'm just going to finish this up. It was such an incredible experience and I especially loved meeting new people, both from the Azores and from the Conference. I hope to get the opportunity to go back some day.