Let The Nerdfest Begin! An Update From Acadia

Aidan and I arrived safely in Halifax on Sunday eve. From there, we made our way to Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

It turns out that Acadia has a really beautiful campus. This is the first time I’ve been here, so everything is new to me. The buildings are typically older, hence they suffer from the curse of awesome architecture and being beautiful (a curse I know all too well – ha! I kill me). And despite the rain, the campus itself is pristine, well maintained, and full of flowers in bloom.

Our first night had us venturing to Paddy’s Pub, a local pub, brew house, and eatery. Being in the East Coast, I’ve made it my mission to consume my weight in seafood while I’m here. I started at Paddy’s; specifically, I ordered the fish cakes. So. Freaking. Tasty. They came with a spinach salad and chow-chow – a traditional green tomato relish. I also sampled the beer of the day – blueberry – and the Annapolis Valley Ale. Both were tasty, but I preferred the ale.

Monday was presentation day. And as luck would have it, my presentation was over within the first session of the day (after the key-note speaker of course). So by 10:30 a.m., I was completely free to relax and enjoy the rest of the conference unimpeded by the looming cloud of presenting. Of course, I don’t really get too panicked or freaked out by the thought of presenting. That’s not to say that I don’t get nervous – I do get the butterflies and such just before I present. But they are manageable, and provide a bit of excitement that I try to capitalize on while presenting.

Anyway, the presentation went well. That is to say, I didn’t faint, vomit, blurt out obscenities, or suffer a wardrobe malfunction. The talk was well attended, and seemed to be well received. Of course, a few of the late comers seemed genuinely shocked when they walked in and I was rambling on about zombies and vampires. You see, my original abstract was about waterborne and foodborne disease. However, given time constraints and my desire to spice up my talk, I opted to change it. This led to some confused expressions, and some smirking, but overall, I think it went well. You can check out my presentation below – assuming my embedding skills are working.

My suspicions were confirmed later in the day when the Andrew Lawson mentioned my presentation during his talk. And then again later at Paddy’s when a random stats nerd approached me to find out how I put together such a ‘slick presentation’ (his words, not mine), and to tell me that it was a ‘great talk’ (again, his words, not mine). W00t! I celebrated by having a pint or two of Acadian Cream Ale. :)

I also have to give super high fives to Almost Dr. Lorna. Her presentation was awesome. She is such an amazing presenter, and she too got the nod from Andrew Lawson. That is to say, he actually chatted with her after the session to learn more about what she was doing. To be honest, we were both as giddy as school kids. After he left, we may or may not have high-fived each other. Okay, we totally high-fived each other.

Anyway, further nerdly updates to follow. For now, I’m off to some more talks. And if I’m lucky, I might run into Dr. Lawson again.


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