Are we nearly there yet?

(Image: Wikimedia)

It has now been well over a week since I made the last entry on this blog. Sorry about that! But I do have a good excuse. Well, sort of a good excuse anyway. It is now only a few days until the start of the Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting (MetSoc) in New York and I have been hard at it trying to get my PowerPoint presentation into some sort of shape. I’ve been making a huge effort to be a bit more organised this time around and not end up in the usual last minute panic. One of the reasons for doing this is that, as a group, we decided to have a collective MetSoc session and get everyone going to New York to run through their presentations in advance. The big rehearsal day took place last Tuesday at 3pm. It started, of course, with the usual logistic nightmare of trying to get the projector to talk to the computer. We use this technology at least a couple of times a week, but it still seems to be a struggle. Thankfully, we had an ample supply of chocolate brownies to sustain us as we did battle with the wearisome technology. We triumphed in the end and finally forced the projector and computer to resolve their differences.

And so we got underway. The MetSoc formulae is tried and tested. You get a 15 minute slot to lay out your wares. 10 minutes maximum to present your work, followed by five minutes of questions from the floor. 15 minutes might not sound very much, but as an old hand once remarked, “it’s plenty of time to hang yourself”. It was a very informal and helpful session. Just going through the talk in front of real people is half the battle. No matter how many times you go through it in your head, it’s just not the same as having to stand on your feet and talk in front of an audience. As each slide comes up, you forget completely what it was there for and what you intended to say about it. But it’s a first run through in front of a friendly audience and it will go better next time around. The feedback was constructive and the session a big success.

One added advantage of our informal meeting was it gave me the chance to get a better understanding of the work going on within our own group. At MetSoc, we will be presenting talks and posters on a wide range of subjects including: the origin of enstatite chondrites, the formation conditions of chondrules, asteroid-meteorite links, 3D imaging of Martian meteorites, IIE iron-H chondrites links, and the geochemistry of pallasites and host of other topics.

So now all that remains is to pack the suitcase this Saturday and head off for the Big Apple. It’s going to be fun, fun, fun!!!

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