Monday, April 30, 2012

My 1st Poster Presentation

Saturday marked another big day for me.
April 28th, 2012 I presented my very first poster at my very first conference.
I presented as first author at the Western Psychological Association (WPA) conference.

Up until I did so, I did not honestly think much of it. I mean, I knew that it was important in the sense that being first author is not something to come by easily. Depending on your research adviser, you could go your entire graduate career without ever being first author on anything. Granted, this is just a poster, and not a paper or an article or anything, but it is still worth something.
I didn't think much of it until, when it was time to set up, we were walking in to the room and my adviser turns to me and says, "Hey... Congratulations!" and I awkwardly laughed and thanked him, but then I realized... this is something to be congratulated about. I have put a lot of work into this, and now I get some recognition, some end result of pay off for all my time and effort.
We didn't have too many people ask questions, but those that did were surprisingly interested in it. I myself was not that interested in the topic, so for me I was shocked other people actually found it interesting enough to ask further questions. Most people at poster sessions just sort of skim over it quickly when passing by, some may even stop in front of your poster to read further, but not too many people ask questions unless it is something they're interested in.
I've never thought of myself as a "researcher". I mean I barely passed Stats last year, it's just never been my strong suit.
But there I was, with another member discussing future research topics we could explore before we even presented our current data. Granted, we are motivated by external forces, i.e: APA convention is in Hawaii next year :) but regardless, we were actually getting semi-excited about possible research ideas.
No matter the reason, I never thought I'd be excited about research.
It's amazing what the right mentor can inspire you to do.
I have my annual student evaluation with my adviser tomorrow. Initially I wasn't looking forward to it, but I actually feel like I've accomplished something this year. :)

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