I have no stamina for conferences. Fidgeting in a chair while a presenter far away drones on to a Powerpoint presentation in a crowded room reminds me of Medical School. Just like at Medical School I quickly got bored. It takes seconds to scan the text on a Powerpoint slide and determine what the point/points are. Unless the presenter offers different information to the text, an image to focus on, or is otherwise engaging my mind wanders. Some presenters read the text verbatim, which is pointless. Some presenters can’t proof-read, which is annoying (today a gynaecologist wrote “ovairan” twice in the one slide. Too many doctors fuck up their Latin (it’s septa not septae). The last presenter of the day managed to overwrite her second-half Powerpoint presentation with the first-half on both the laptop and her USB stick and every time she tried opening either file, scrolled through all 14 slides, a few with animations, to get to slide 14 where she’d gasp that it went no further. This is despite the summary bar on the left before opening the presentation clearly showing only 14 slides. Aside from that the talks were quite good, and I got a lot out of the day. I’m glad I went.
On the subway home I imagined how I’d organise a conference with different ways of learning. Instead of a Powerpoint on the sensitivities and specificities of various descriptors of cystic ovarian lesions I’d break the room up into groups, each group having to physically form an ovarian neoplasm or normal ovary from separate components. People would be assigned to represent an individual components: walls, septa, papillary projections, cyst contents, vascularity… and join circles of other participants (ovaries) according to whether they were on the benign or malignant sides of the conference room. Perhaps there’d be music. Under facilitation we’d determine which lesions required follow up, surgery or left-alone. I’d sooner go home remembering that a papillary projection is something defined as at least 3 mm higher than the inner margin of a cyst wall if I was part of a choreographed human ovarian tumour running around to loud music. I surprised Pete last week when I tried to show him a phrase of movement I danced for Steps, probably in 1997, which I just stood up and started. Dancers refer to body memory. My body had repeated the phrase so many times I didn’t have to think. (It was Claudia Alessi’s piece that used It’s a Fine Day by Opus III).
My bruised/cracked rib stopped hurting today, after a knot formed in my back, freezing it still. It took Daniel a good while to massage out the knot in my back (weirdly when it finally released I started laughing heartily) and then my rib started hurting at the front again. Is being ticklish a reflex? Are people ticklish when under anaesthetic but no muscle relaxants? What point is there in being ticklish?
Tonight I swept, vacuumed, and mopped the floors, cleaned the bathroom and toilet and tidied up. Dan baked a few things, as we are entertaining tomorrow night. He bought an assortment of lollies from Bulk Barn. I was disappointed with how few orange Gummy Bears coated in sugar there were in one bag. I picked them all out and ate them. Dan cooked chicken meatballs with Chinese veggies in spicy soup again. Yum.
I got an SMS today from Albert, just to say hello. Today is also Ben’s birthday, and I can’t give him a congratulatory hug. Today I felt a little homesick.