1 week to go, the conference Grand Slam!

So Oliver and I will be boarding our plane almost exactly a week from now.

I was going to post about conferences: what they are, what happens at them. But I haven’t had time to finish it amidst writing the three talks I’ll be giving at my two conferences. I’ve finished two and I am working on the third talk. It’s the longest talk — the 45 minute keynote — and I want to make a splash with it.

For this talk I am using Prezi instead of Powerpoint. Prezi is a relatively new online presentation platform. Whereas Powerpoint is very linear in the way you present information, Prezi is more visual. It’s hard to explain without seeing it so check out a simple presentation that Oliver wrote in Year 2 (here).

Oliver's Prezi about Anzac Day

Oliver’s Prezi about Anzac Day

Prezi is working well for this keynote talk because I’m hoping to take the audience on a bit of journey from the early days of our collective memory work until now, and the big, new questions that we are grappling with. Prezi lets you map that journey visually. Perhaps I will post the link to my Prezi after I have written and given it.

Meanwhile, I am writing it! The last few days I have tried to focus just on this task, staying up late and getting up early to finish it before we fly. While writing I’ve managed to catch a bit of the French Open. I have lots of happy memories of writing grants until all hours while watching either the Australian Open (which falls during peak ARC grant writing time) or Wimbledon. I am a big tennis fan.

One of my happiest travel days ever was during 6 weeks I spent in London in 2001. I was visiting at University College London and attending the Annual Meeting of the British Psychological Society and then flying to Valencia, Spain for the 3rd International Conference on Memory. On this particular day — a warm, sunny London summer day in June — I got up early and caught a train out to Wimbledon. I joined the queue for a ticket for the outside courts. The queue was 3 hours long but there was lots of entertainment along the way; the English really know how to queue! Once inside I sat right beside one of the outside courts and watched Frenchman Arnaud Clement play. Later I watched some doubles. It was a magical day. Sun. Pimms. Tennis. Gift shop. Too bad that Oliver and I will be a little early in London for the 2013 Championships.

I have often talked about trying for a conference Grand Slam. But it is tricky finding conferences in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York to coincide with the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbeldon and US Open. I’ve already been to Wimbledon, as you’ve heard, and to the Australian Open (a few times). I have a great new collaborator and colleague in New York, Professor Suparna Rajaram, who is just as keen on the tennis as I am. Now to find a French collaborator! Not sure if I could complete the conference Grand Slam in one year but it is always good to have a goal in life!

English: Wimbledon Championships

English: Wimbledon Championships (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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