There have been some very good things about the first day of this conference. Here are some highlights in decreasing order of silliness:
It's The Beagle that makes this worthwhile.
2) Unlike other male dominated situation's I've found myself in,
there isn't actually a line for the women's bathroom.
3) A more senior woman who I see every year or so showed up for just the day. Everyone who knows her swears by how nice and accomplished she is. Frankly, after a few comments she made on a thesis draft, I've spent a few years terrified of her. That's the time it took me to realize that her harshness was out of a desire to see that I advance. It was nice to be see her, to meet her current graduate students, to talk about work and life. Today I realized that she is the only person who I may ask for a letter of recommendation that not only knows my full situation of both my family life and work life, but that I'm really glad knows everything. As harsh as I've found her criticism to be, I think I know that she is not only in my corner, but is very happy for me to consult her on anything. Professional friendships like that are rare. Seeing her today was a good reminder of that.