Chicago Diary July 2009 - Conference Time
Wednesday July 22nd, Day 4: Conference time
I had a great sleep, curled up among a variety of pillows on the comfortable Sheraton bed and woke at my usual 6 am time, full of energy. I decided to have a leisurely breakfast and then go down to the Link cafe and take care of my on-line check-in for tomorrow before heading over to the conference centre.. This is a terrific feature that the Sheraton has - they don't charge for Internet access using the computers in their Link Cafe. Unusually for me, I did not bring my laptop on this trip, so I forgot to check wether wireless Internet access using one's own laptop is also free.
Anyway it was simple to check in with United on line and print my boarding pass. Then I decided to check my email - and found an urgent message sent late yesterday with an apology for the late notification, telling me that I should be at the opening of the Plenary Session for the morning, as a short presentation of the CSCC award winners would be made and we were supposed to be there to stand and be acknowledged. Hmmm. I looked at my watch. It was 9. 20. I had missed it. Oops.
I felt really bad but nothing could be done about it at this stage, so I decided to carry on with my schedule as originally planned. Shortly I changed into the suit I brought for this occasion - a rare chance for me to dress up a bit, as my life these days is very casual. I tend to wear pants more than dresses and skirts when I go out. This suit, a turquoise silk skirt and jacket, felt quite dressy. Can't remember the last time I wore stockings other than for ballroom dancing.
I dashed downstairs just in time to catch the shuttle bus leaving for McCormick Centre. Found myself sitting next to a woman who is in charge of the satellite reference laboratories for one of the major referral labs. It was interesting to hear her take on private laboratories and US health care and the conversation kept us occupied until we got to the Centre.
When I got to McCormick Place it was too early for the lunch meeting so I went to check out the exhibits.The AACC/CSCC exhibit of laboratory-related equipment, reagents, software, booksellers, and technical organization booths is gigantic- big enough to thoroughly tire out feet in high heeled shoes, long before your head is exhausted. Anyway I strolled around encountering all sorts of people i had not seen for several years. That's what I used to love about the annual meeting - meeting friends from all over the US and Canada and catching up on the previous year's events.
Just before noon I headed off to the room where the CSCC lunch and AGM was to be held. Sherry gave a presentation speech before presented me with the plaque and award. I was touched by her speech and really appreciated the fact that my work was valued, and acknowledged in this way.
Later that day I attended the Canada party hosted by the CSCC. Again it was great to see old friends and so many of them. I caught up with a friend that I had met when I first joined the executive of what was then called the Pediatric Division - more years ago than I want to count - Barbara, who was currently this year's President of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. As you can see from the picture we both like blue! Our dress code was unplanned.