paulfraser (paulfraser) wrote,

I ain’t the one to judge

Leaving Christchurch, Aunty, Anders and I set off by car for Queenstown. From origin to an hour or so from destination, the south island is, uncharitable as it may be to say, one continuous, sprawling, unrelenting farm. Paddock after paddock after paddock. Obnoxious lamb after obnoxious lamb after delicious lamb. Then, apparently, one reached breathtaking gorges. I know not, I was asleep.

Queenstown is Banff of the Southern Hemisphere. With a lake rather than snow, it is ringed by epic mountains, in possession of enticing walking tracks through forests that allow one welcome solitude, and in the centre of it a painfully artificial town that almost eviscerates the soul from the locale.

I gave my presentation on Monday to sixty-five of my peers. I got all the content in, but at such a break-neck pace that I lost my audience, and finished very early (the only person to do so thus far). Thus, there were questions. Many questions. We have seemingly tempted collaboration from an experimentalist who cannot explain data that my work seems to pre-empt. Also, post-doc hunting is coming along apace, though no news about tacos, sorry James. There was a young man who lowered the tone by presenting his work in a scruffy t-shirt and jeans, and declaring consternation with “Oh fuck!”, and I ain’t the one!

I have also had the fortune to meet a man whose work is referenced in my thesis, one John Millener, doyen of the nuclear shell model. This is like meeting a rock star for normal people, with their petty perspectives on import. I seized the opportunity to over-extend my reach and ask foolish questions. I have no idea what his responses meant. I feel this showed.

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