Greetings from spring! The snow-melt is on in Regina. This weekend is a bit chilly, but we climbed up to +14C this past week. It has been a very long winter (our second long winter in a row) and it’s such a treat to wear a lighter coat.
Jordan and I have been desperately wrapping up the end of the semester over the past month. We each had a lot of odds and ends left to the last few weeks – two 20-pagers and a dissertation presentation for me, and a 20-pager based on an extensive Arduino project for Jordan, plus our respective TA duties and my practicum. My body categorically refused to cooperate and so I’ve been laid up with a chest cold all week. My to-do list has finally been whittled down and I am actually taking the entire weekend off – miracle of miracles!
At the end of March I was in Chicago for the annual ADAA conference. As always, ADAA did not disappoint. Our hotel was on the Magnificent Mile, right next to a Nordstrom’s mall and a million little restaurants. We arrived early enough on Thursday that we were able to get some lab power shopping in before the ADAA keynote/opening speaker. I wasn’t presenting on Friday, but was able to take in some very interesting symposia talks about PTSD, mindfulness, and involving families in the therapy process. Sophie and I snuck out before the poster session to walk around the Navy Pier, and on a whim we went to find Cloudgate. WOW! I was so enchanted! What a great work of art.
Saturday was AIBL day… Matt’s symposium was in the morning, and mine was in the late afternoon. I was very excited to be able to chair (host) my own set of talks this year, and the panel of speakers was really great. I presented my thesis research, alongside talks by my supervisor, a fellow from Houston, a lady from Florida State, and our discussant from Winnepeg. My poster session was right afterwards, followed by lab dinner at a pizza joint by the river, and drinks in the presidential suite with another research team. Hangovers all around!
Then – drumroll – Sunday I was joined by our best friend Natalie!!! So exciting!! She caught an early train from Ontario down to Chicago to meet me and Dan. Conferences are the best for catching up with girlfriends who are flung far and wide across the country. Nat, Dan, Holly, Michelle and I went to Cloudgate for quite a long time, and then after Michelle and Holly hopped a plane home, the three of us carried on with shopping and wining and dining. We stopped in Anthropologie (heaven) and Nordstrom Rack (shooooes) and, after ditching our spoils at the hotel and soaking our sad feet, had dinner on the patio of The Purple Pig. Highly recommended! Sunday morning Natalie and I had a life-changing makeup lesson from Jen at Sephora and then we managed to get in quite a bit more shopping. Highlights included tacos, chocolates, more shoes, the 47th dress, and sunshine. Natalie left us (sob) at 3, and Dan and I headed out to the airport shortly after, whereupon we indulged in great sushi and I nearly died on a plane (not really).
It is always very invigorating to get away for a bit, and although ADAA tends to overlap with the busiest part of the semester, it did a lot for my mental state to sneak away and just have a blast with friends in a new city. My passport is getting a good workout this year – I’m off to Philadelphia in July for a workshop on PTSD at the Beck Institute and then my best friend Shae is getting married in Mexico in December. Feel free to send me your pennies for my travel fund!