Insight: November 10, 2015

T32/RESBIO Immersion Workshop

Day 1 complete.  The NJ Symposium on Biomaterials Science was finished.  Researchers, businessmen, students from all across industry and academia just participated in one of the most successful conferences I have ever been a part.  Connections were made and drinks were had.  All in all, a very good day.

Now came day 2.  The T32/RESBIO Immersion Workshop.  A day dedicated to the postdocs and their mentors.  Federally funded postdocs and mentors.  It’s a pretty big deal.  Arriving at 7:30 AM on a cold rainy morning, I was greeted by a slightly perturbed (albeit early) caterer that was waiting for help.  There was no easing into the day.  Immediately I grabbed folding tables and started setting up snacks and, more importantly, coffee for the soon to be arriving fellows.  From the onset, that basically set the tempo for the entire day.  Move move move.

Work behind the scenes make or break any production.  As the play goes on, backstage is controlled chaos, workers always setting up and preparing for the next scene transition.  The workshop was no different.  As the postdocs gave their presentations, the NJCBM crew was constantly moving around furniture, coordinating with the caterers, or fending off mooching students trying to leech some coffee.  On a day like that, coffee is life.

The most interesting challenge happened just around dinnertime.  It’s around 5:00 PM and the caterers are just about ready to set up in the building lobby.  However, nobody is able to access the electric panel and turn on the lights.  The November darkness has taken over the building.  In a bout of quick thinking, a pack of candles were found and put into makeshift table decorations.  With the addition of wine that was in the stockroom, the night came to a very colorful close.  A nice atmospheric dinner to cap off an event filled day.