Yesterday evening I returned from a brief trip to the above as a participant in "The International HapMap Community Analysis Meeting". It was a good trip for a lot of reasons, which I will now enumerate:
- This was the first academic conference I've attended which was very focused on a topic of serious interest to me. On the one hand this is very cool because I was pretty zoned in the whole time and thus got a lot out of it. On the other hand it's exhausting because there aren't the usual lulls in the action when somebody's babbling about something totally unrelated to your area of interest. Even after just two and a half days I was completely beat and thus went to bed at 10:30 last night.
- There was a good hangout scene both with the usual suspects from work (Shaun, Paul, Itsik & occasionally Mark) and with some people who I know by name/reputation/voice on conference calls. It was definitely a good thing to meet a bunch of the latter in person, including some people who might be good to know if I'm going to get a grad degree in this nonsense.
- It was nice to get out of town for a few days. The weather in Baltimore was wonderful (although I hear it was just as nice in Boston) and although we had limited time to explore our extended environs I did get a couple of chances to stroll around the touristy harbor area, which was nice.
- Related to items 1 & 2, I have returned to the office today pretty fired up about my line of work, which should be helpful in pushing forward and deciding what to do with my life in the medium term.
And now, back to that aforementioned work.