[Week 87] Hello (back), World!

Did anyone miss me? I’m back to this blog, after months of silence! Ok, something like four months now…

Let’s recap: What happened these four months? I’m trying to be concise!

  • I finished all my analyses for the ERP experiment last semester, and added new interpretations;
  • I finished reviewing the main books/articles of the theoretical framework I am working in;
  • I reviewed half of the literature on neurolinguistics I need;
  • Oh yeah, I have been accepted to go to the CUNY conference at Boulder, Colorado!

University of Boulder, Colorado

I think it may have been the most incredible experience I had this semester so far. I know everybody wants to hear from me about this, so let’s do it here!

It was my first time going to the US, so I was kind of nervous. And please, CUNY! It’s like the conference I’ve been dreaming to go for 2 years now, so I couldn’t imagine when I submitted my abstract that I could be accepted!

Back to the story. I left Taipei at something like 11am to Los Angeles, where I had to wait 7 hours for another flight to Denver. Once in Denver, I had to take the bus to Boulder for an hour, and then to walk 30 minutes to the hotel. I was so tired, I hardly slept in the plane, and suddenly listening to a lot of American English, it was frustrating. It’s like I understood everything, but I don’t know why, I automatically wanted to reply in Chinese… Anyway. That day, hotel, sleep, happy! I arrived in the US earlier on purpose, so that I had one day off to wander in the city, which is very beautiful! I could also meet a former PhD student of my university when I was in France for my Master degree.

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First day at CUNY. It’s like all the names I read on paper suddenly had a face, a body and a voice. It’s kind of weird in a way, I was really wondering what I was doing here, or if they had not accepted me by mistake. But I learned a lot of things, even if I couldn’t understand the half. I also met my former advisor, that was really cool! If I have to remember one sentence for this day, it would be this one. I talked with other people about my concerns that I couldn’t understand what people were talking about, even if I understand their language perfectly. Then I had this reply: “Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure that even the speaker doesn’t really know what he’s talking about!” Ok, then it’s not completely my problem! Let’s go back to the hotel, fall asleep at 9pm (thanks, jetlag!), and wake up at 6 without being tired at all (thanks again, jetlag!).

Albert Kim, the organizer, told us at the opening ceremony: March-April in Boulder, we can experience the four seasons. you can see on the picture, it was warm without being hot when I arrived, the perfect weather. And when I woke up in the morning for the second day of the conference:

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Let’s recap: Jetlag + Don’t know what I’m doing here but still happy because it’s CUNY + From Spring to Winter + All American English + This day, I have my poster presentation

= Oh my god, am I really awake?

I don’t remember what happened this morning, I was so stressed. Then went the moment of my poster presentation. It was hard to begin, then people came to lisen to my presentation. I’m happy that I was well prepared for it, I imagined that everybody was my advisor, so that I was in right condition. An you know what? It went very very very well, with a lot of people thinking that my results are interesting, as well as my new interpretation! I know there’s still a lot to do, but having a sort of confirmation that you’re on track, it was such a relief to me! At the end of the session, I didn’t want to leave anymore!

Third and last day. No snow anymore, but everybody was tires. All the big names who were well-dressed on the first day arrived as if they just woke up. Even them can get tired! Another interesting day, with a lot of discoveries!

If I have to sum up this conference, I’d say that I learned a lot throughout the process, from writing the abstract to the poster presentation. I also met a lot of interesting and nice people, who gave me helpful advices, and with whom I’m still in touch. It was so inspiring and worth the trip and the jetlag!

What? Another day off after the conference? Of course! This last day, everybody left except me. I woke up at 6, went out at 7:30 in a warm and sunny weather, and decided to go to the mountain by foot. Finally, I could breathe the fresh air of the mountain, I missed it! Back to the city, it’s only 11am… Ok, let’s climb the other mountain! Back to the city one more time, I finally found the ghosthouse of Boulder, I stood there, taking photos for 20 minutes, hoping I could get something (if you see something strange, tell me!). I felt somenone watching me, I thought I was too sensitive, one more time. I remarked that a woman was indeed watching me, and not the house, so I decided to leave to her direction: she was my former advisor!

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And finally, back to Taiwan, back to work!

I wish I can do another experiment and go back to CUNY next year. But before that, a lot of things to do!

  1. I have my qualification exam of neurolinguistics next month;
  2. I have to plan my second and third qualification exams, I hope I can finish them this year!
  3. Still one month to go, and I got all my course credits!
  4. I have to finish to review articles about neurolinguistics…
  5. And why not writing one chapter this summer?
  6. Oh, and I’ll try to write on a weekly basis now, to keep what I’m doing on track.
  7. I almost forgot, I have to find some time to relax and meet my friends, I’ve been such a bad friend this month, sorry!

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