I’ve been here since Sunday afternoon, and it’s certainly been an experience. There are thousands and thousands of people here, and it’s almost a little overwhelming. The presentations I’ve attended have all been fantastic, and I’m giving a presentation of my own here in a couple of hours. I probably should be a lot more nervous than I am, but hopefully things go off without a hitch and I get good feedback and ideas to turn this thing into a publication of some sort. At the last minute I decided I should write a full-blown paper to go along with my presentation, so I started writing it on my Pittsburgh trip, and thankfully finished it yesterday, all 13 pages of it. I also have nice handouts to go along with it, so people can take what they want. I don’t anticipate many people being there, but it will still be a good experience.

After I’m done, I’ll attend one presentation and then head to the airport to pick up my rental car to drive to Tucson. I hope the drive isn’t too long or exhausting, and I’m a bit concerned about the fact that there are long stretches with very little in the way of food or gas. Maybe I’ll grab a snack on my way out of town, or stop in Yuma, since that’s really the only town of any size between here and Tucson.

In other news, my proposal defense was unable to be scheduled on the 23rd, and I’ve yet to hear back from everyone in order to get it scheduled for the following week. This is a blessing in some ways, but it’s still kind of frustrating. On the up side, it gives me more time to prepare, which is something I really need. It’s been hard getting anything done these last couple of weeks, and I know I’ll need some recovery time when I get back next week. I’m really feeling like I’m in the home stretch here, so I’m pushing through for a bit longer.