Day 3 of SBLAAR20

Coffee & Zoom—third day of a 10 day Academic Conference in 2020

The adrenaline that helped me wake up early this week has now gone away, and it is shear self-determination that draws me out of bed. Although I am excited to hear some of the paper topics, I think the real motivating factor is imagining myself to be part of something bigger and outside what has become my tiny COVID-19 lockdown world this year.

Some of the things I have noticed about the virtual conference individual experience:

On Coffee: I generally have to make my own coffee (instead of standing in a long line at a make-shift popup cart in the convention center lobby). As a result, the coffee is always good great! I drink a lot of it, which brings me to my next subject—the toilet.

On Relieving Myself: The toilet is a mere ten steps away from my desk. I can make a quick trip without missing any significant portion. Also, the toilet is about ten steps from me, and whenever someone else uses it, there be superfluous background noises.

On Energy Reserves: At a live conference, I am getting my 10K+ steps per day, walking miles between hotels and restaurants with colleagues. But, in a virtual conference, I am not burning off the calories of those midday drinks, and I am also definitely not using the energy that is accumulating due to coffee intake.

I think the moral of this story is that coffee giveth and coffee taketh away.

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