Tuesday, November 1, 2011

3rd Place Poster Winner

Last week we had my laboratory's annual Symposium. My lab is actually a cross-departmental lab, and my advisor is one of eight or so professors in the collaboration (each with their own students and individual lines of research). The Symposium is a day and a half of talks by professors from our own lab, guest speakers in our field, a poster session from all current students, and a celebration dinner.

We just had a poster session this spring, so instead of requiring students to make a new poster, the head of the lab said that students could just re-submit the posters from the spring.

But I was traveling this spring to a conference in Korea, so I wasn't around to make a poster.

I really didn't want to make a poster this time around, so I just kind of snuck under the radar and didn't remind anybody that I didn't have a poster from the spring... therefore, I assumed I just didn't have a poster in the display.

There are prizes for the student posters. The attendees of the symposium can vote for their favorite posters, and the top votes get first, second and third place cash prizes. But because our symposium is small, and nobody really has an incentive to vote, the joke around the office is that the prizes go to the only three students that can convince someone to turn in a ballot for them...

So one morning while procrastinating from work, my labmate pushed his chair back, spun around, and said to me, "Miss Outlier - did you even turn in a poster?"

"Nope," I said, looking at my hands, "Didn't do one this year."

He laughed and replied, "I was gonna give you $20 if you won the competition this year, because I knew you don't have results to show."

Now that was a bit of a low blow to begin with, but he teases a lot so I didn't take it personally.

And guess what.

Instead of NO poster for me, turns out some dedicated admin dug up my poster from LAST year's symposium, and put that on display.

Guess what AGAIN.

I won 3rd place. And I didn't even solicit votes - I didn't know I was in the running!

Can I collect that $20, please? :)

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