Usually, when coming back from a conference, my head feels incredibly full and yet, at the same time, like a stack of umbrellas opened up in my head. Straight, upside down, left, right, on top of eachother, through eachother… it’s an image taken from Dianna Wynne Jones, but very useful, because ideas and questions are just going any which way and it’s hard to capture them on time, or even verbalize them in a way that might later on make sense.

It’s one of the reasons that I always make copious notes at conferences, because when I read them over later on, the feeling might come back and ideas could be verbalized. One of the things the last conference made me realize is that the world is small. There was a PhD student who works with measuring behaviour in severly physical and mental handicapped people. It isn’t my field at all, at least not the people who are her target group, but how awesome would it be to be able to measure whether somebody is comfortable or not without having to ask them constantly? Not to mention, my mother actually works with multiple handicapped people, and I’m fairly certain she’d be interested in the follow-up. I’m actually bursting to tell her, and ask her whether she would like to cooperate with the PhD student!

Another exciting thing of the last conference: there were so many women! I’d almost forgotten there could be conferences where women are almost half the participants (and then I’m not counting the salesgirls). It was extraordinary to just look around and not feel so … isolated. I admit, that’s a very good feeling, and one that encourages me to keep believing in my own possibilities and capacities. Hopefully, that way other people (women) can take strength from me in return.