Well,  I’m happy to say I’m at the end of a long but very exciting day.  Last time I wrote I was on a plane ready to head to Los Angeles.  Dr. French and I made it here safely and grabbed a late dinner at the hotel before calling it a night.

This morning at 5:15, I woke up to a phone call from a resident saying I had left my alarm clock on back in Bloomington.  Oops!  Many thanks go to my friend Ricky for getting that taken care of.

After my real alarm at the hotel went off at 7:30, I got ready and Dr. French and I met up near the convention center.  We started by putting the poster up in the exhibit hall and then sat in on some various sessions.  Dr. French and I talked in between and I hadn’t realized how wide of a range of study astronomers can involve themselves in; there was a lot of talk especially about geology and chemistry in space, which I had never thought about.

As we talked with some of Dr. French’s various colleagues in the convention center, Sue came up and said hi!  We spent some time catching up and eventually made our way to the business meeting.  Hearing some of Sue and Dr. French’s comments made the meeting a bit more entertaining.

After lunch with Bob Stevens (a coauthor for our poster) and Brian Warner (who writes a software program we’re starting to use), Dr. French and I headed back to the hotel for a break before returning to the convention center to get ready for the poster session.

Not that I’m at all biased, but I think our poster looked awesome.  Dr. French and I spent some more time chatting with Sue by our poster and I even got the chance to field a few questions from some people reading the poster.  You can see the poster above; now that we’ve presented it I’ve posted a higher-quality version than before (i.e., it’s actually readable).  Throughout the day, I met a lot of people whose names rang a bell in my head from previous conversations with Sue and Dr. French, so it was exciting to meet them in person.  By the time the poster session was finished, it was just after 6 pm.

Dr. French and I then headed over to Castle Green for the night’s banquet.  Holy moly, this place was cool… Dr. French and I socialized with Faith Vilas (Sue’s grad school advisor who apparently makes legendary brownies) for most of the night.  After a cocktail hour with a jazz band, we headed to the ballroom for dinner, then returned to the parlor for dessert time!  Take a look at this dessert… how can you not love it?

As sad as it is to think about, the day has come to a close!  Tomorrow will be a very full travel day but if I’m lucky, I’ll get some work done on a first draft of an essay for Spanish due Friday morning.  Either way, I’ll be going to bed as a very happy camper tonight!