Thank goodness! Her voice returned! Yay for all those highly medicated, very stinky throat lozenges! She might not be able to fully feel her tongue, but my Long Suffering Mentor has got enough of a voice that she can do her presentation. Hallelujah!
Dr Sanja Van Huet is a smart lady. She is a Taphonomist, a fancy word for a person who studies the sediment surrounding bone or teeth or any other interesting trace element from ages past. She’s the dirt lady of the dinosaur world – just kidding! She would hate me saying that! Anyways, her presentation of the overview of Late Quaternary fossil sites from the Nepean Peninsula, Victoria was very successful, despite, at times, sounding like a croaky teenage pre-pubescent boy (tee hee hee!)
Having thoroughly enjoying the morning sessions of Tephras and Volcanism (Oh….My….GAWD!) and an open science session, lunch was a welcome time of catching up for the last time with people I have met, and talking about how much of a hangover they have from the wine the previous night (everyone did look slightly seedy!). Then I quietly slipped away to join my Long Suffering Husband, who I truly love, and is so supportive of my research and my new career path. He has put up with a lot this week, my cranky tantrums from nerves, my displays of tears – all through it he was my rock (excuse the pun!). So, in the interests of keeping my marriage together, we stole away to do all manner of touristy things, and explored the beautiful township of Auckland and spending time around the harbour and marina.
Little did I know that late in the afternoon back at AQUA, awards were being handed out for different achievements. And for some very strange reason, Rebecca Ballard was awarded Highly Commended (2nd place) for best presentation related to a research project (EEK!). This was quite exceptional as I was competing against PhD and Masters candidates. I kind of felt bad for stealing some PhD students thunder, but at the same time I was so fucking proud! And then I felt bad because I wasn’t there to receive the award, but my Long Suffering Mentor assured me that she explained I was saving my marriage (she actually said that in front of everyone!). So I can safely say that my presentation was a success, and that I seem to be on the right track!
Our last night in Auckland involved a lovely dinner out while the Good Doctor went to the AQUA trivia night, coming home very late sightly inebriated and giggling hysterically about the fights that broke out at the trivia tables regarding some controversy involving Quaternary science! Apparently it was quite feisty and very funny! We packed and reminisced about the great experiences we have had over this exciting week. It was an exceptional experience.