And this is why I’m so incredibly proud of the conference we put together. Where else could you fill a room with 50 people in which:

1. your NSF program officer talks to you about the poetry of Raymond Carver; and how she met and wrote with the guy just a few years before he died.

2. you talk to someone who could be your stunt double (sans goatee) about the intersection between 2-year-olds’ abilities and tendencies and how science is actually done.

3. someone changes all their previous plans and flies from San Jose to Portland to come to your little meeting. And when I say “San Jose” I mean the one in Costa Rica. Except I mean outside of San Jose, so that — and I don’t fully understand this whole commute — somehow she had to get from her abode where everyone drives an ATV to a place where she could get on the airplane. And then we talk about parenting over martinis and grilled cheese sandwiches.

4. I’m not sure if I’m going to break into tears or hysterical laughter 5 minutes later from any given moment.

5. I’m co-running a conference with people from all over the country (+ one person from the Philippines) in the same city where, only 15 years ago, I was learning to pull the cord on a city bus for the first time. It’s funny that I felt just about as accomplished for learning how to stop the bus as I am to organize such a gathering.

And more. And it really has barely even started.

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