Thursday, October 18, 2012

CrisTech 2012

Before I even arrived, Dr. Martin (my boss) invited me to go along with her and another CRISMAT researcher to a small conference on crystal growth and crystallography. Since they were having a poster session, I was asked to make a poster on some of the work I had done at USC to present. I give myself three points of credit on the poster: 1) I did it in French, which is no easy task as scientific vocabulary is somewhat particular; 2) I was able to talk to multiple people about my poster in French; and 3) it was my first poster, ever, and I did it all by myself. I had two major failings though. I forgot Travel Rule #1. I assumed that because we do something one way in the US, people in other countries probably do it the same way. I made a horizontal poster; they make vertical posters. Oops. Second failing: I used a dictionary for specialized terminology instead of asking an expert. Scientific vocab, like the jargon of pretty much any discipline, is very specific. When we speak in general, we often use different words interchangeably even if their exact means are not the same. You can't do that with field-specific jargon, which is why using a dictionary is just not a wise decision. However, I consoled myself with the fact that everyone told me the errors were minor and I noticed that some of the posters done in English (for use at international meetings) had faults too.

CrisTech was really cool though! It was held in Carry-le-Rouet, which is near Marseille in the south of France, right on the Mediterranean coast. At first I was a little shy, because I didn't know anyone, apart from  Dr. Martin and Jean-Michel, but everyone was very friendly. I ended up sitting with the same people at most of the meals and actually participated in some of the conversation. There were a lot of lectures though. At most conferences, you pick and choose which sessions you want to attend based on your interests, but since this was such a small group (only about 100 people) it would have been rude to not listen to someone's talk. I'll admit that once of twice I may or may not have pulled out my book to read just a little. Who can resist a murder mystery?

It was absolutely a beautiful location. They could not have picked a better spot. The sun was shining and the sea was blue. Eat your heart out:

Look! It's the Mediterranean!

All those lucky people who get to live here...

The view from my hotel window...jealous? 

How beautiful is this??

So blue!

So sunny!
For someone who has spent the last two weeks in cloudy, cold, drizzly weather, the sun and sea were especially welcome sights. The wind kept it from being really warm, but it was warmer. And I'll take that.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful photos- yes I am jealous