Friday, August 13, 2010

Presentations, last week

As I mentioned before, Tom from Hopkins came to Leuven this week to check up on this program and discuss collaboration/IP stuff with some people at IMEC. So on Thursday Mike, Laura, and I each gave a presentation on the work we've done here and back at Hopkins, including ideas about how collaboration can continue with the projects. About half the data I ended up presenting were just collected on Tuesday... soooo it's been a long week. At first, I was a bit worried about everything coming together in time, but I think the presentation actually went very well and we all got a lot of compliments!

I wasn't as nervous as I usually am when I have to speak in public. Part of that is the fact that I have been studying and discussing and presenting the same general topic for the last year or so, but I think the other part of that is due to the Oral Presentations class I took at Hopkins last year. It was actually a bit more time consuming than I expected my random elective to be, but it was definitely worth it because I really feel like I got a lot out of that class and improved my presentation skills tremendously (yes, I used to be one of those people who tried to hide behind the podium and literally read straight from the 12pt font "bullet point" paragraphs that I jam packed onto each slide, so it didn't even matter that you couldn't understand anything I said anyway). It isn't a difficult class, but it just made me step outside of my comfort zone until I was comfortable and more confident - saved me a lot of stress this past year!

Anyway, I only have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday left next week, so I'm just trying to finish up some stuff, like writing up a protocol for my desorption experiments, cleaning up things I left in the lab, and possibly trying to repeat one last experiment.

This is the first weekend that I haven't done any traveling, so its nice to relax! I did go to Brussels for a bit this morning to do some last minute souvenir shopping though. There is another free music festival here in Leuven, Markt Rock, with a bunch of Belgian bands/djs, so I'm going to that too.

On Thursday, I will go back to Finland to visit my friend Erica again. She lives in Helsinki, which I didn't see much of last time, and we will also take a cruise to Sweeden, so I'll get to see a bit of Stockholm too! Then I will go back home to beautiful Colorado for only a week, and then moving to Evanston, Il to start a PhD program in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern! Its going to be a busy few weeks...

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