Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Big Night!

Last night I presented the work that I have been doing for the past two summers at the convention center in Denver, Colorado. I was so nervous about presenting that I stayed up the night before going to Colorado and thought about the presentations. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to present it at such a big convention, and was terrified of what the outcome might be- Would I be able to explain my work properly? What kind of questions will I be asked? How many people are going to come to my poster? What if I don’t have anyone come to my poster?!-Questions like that kept me from sleeping an entire night, but when the big day came I was no longer nervous. I knew I was ready, and as the time grew closer to presenting I became very excited about showing everyone that I could the work that I had done. After setting up my poster I waited to meet the other Project SEED students. I wanted to hear about how they became involved in Project SEED, what the experience has been like for them, and just get to know them. After meeting the other Project SEED students I realized that our experiences were very similar, and found myself relating to them easily. Then the time came to put on my heels and try to grab as many people as I could, which was not very difficult because my posters was in the very front.

After a few moments the doors opened, and tons of people flooded in. I was shocked, and excited, and then I became scared. I wasn’t scared of presenting anymore, I was scared that I was not going to get any traffic. In an instant Marissa had somebody at her poster, and they just kept coming, I guess coordination polymers are very exciting right now. At that moment I thought back on when Dr. Wheeler had shared with us that there was a competition for the most unique and interesting title in the talks he had went to. One of the titles was ‘Pop and Lock’...I really wished that I had an eye catching title like that at my poster, but I did not have to wait very long, suddenly I had many people coming to my poster. As the night went on and I presented to more and more people I became more and more confident. I became so confident after George Richter-ADDO, the professor and Chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma asked me if I would like to work for him. He told me about the research that he had worked on and gave me his card so I can get in touch with him later. He also told me that he had worked with Dr. Wheeler before Dr. Wheeler came to Duquesne, and I was just so happy that he enjoyed my presentation and that I was offered a chance to work for him. My confidence went through the roof after that. I wished I would have kept count of all the people that came to my poster, but to be honest there were just too many. If I had to guess I would say I presented to at least twenty people. After the convention ended I both exhausted and restless(not to mention I could barely walk). I would love to do another convention, it was just so exciting, and I shocked so many people when they found out that I was a high school student. I am so proud of myself, and so grateful for this experience, I really can not wait to show my family. I just want to bring my poster everywhere and present it to everyone!

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