Conferencing to reignite academic fire

Nothing reignites academic fire like seeing old friends and colleagues at a conference. Arranging the trans-Atlantic trip was a logistic challenge – including the inevitable bout of stomach flu while preparing my talks – but it was worth it!  To make the trip as short as possible I gave two talks in two countries in 4 days.  Yet there was still time for a quick hike in The Peak District (near Hathersage) and tea with scones and clotted cream in Castleton. 

The Peak District near Hathersage.  Photo: D. M. Buehler.

There was also time for scotch and haggis in Strathpeffer and birding on the shores of Munlochy Bay.



 Rainbow in Strathpeffer.  Photo: D. M. Buehler. 
Catching up with friends, hatching collaborative plans and trading ideas was wonderful.  But meeting with friends who are also juggling a scientific career and a family was like a drink in the desert. I really missed the solidarity of shared strategies for juggling kids and work.  At home my social circle (although wonderful) involves either academics without kids or parents who are not academics.It was a change that helped me battle against the exhaustion that comes with having everything you want – kids, job, puzzles to solve – just having a bit too much at once.   And back home the kids were angels with hubby who was quite capable of handling them on his own.

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