Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Prague – Day 9 – Thursday, September 30

Thursday was my last day of presentations at IAC, but I had two to give. So I spent a lot of the morning re-reading my papers and going through the presentations so that it would be fresh in my mind. Then, over lunch, Jeff and I went on a little walk around the area near our hotel. It’s actually a cool part of town – where the historic Prague was started. There is a big fortress, with beautiful views from the edge of the city from the edge of the stone walls. There was also a cool church in the middle of the fortress, with a very ornate graveyard.

In the afternoon, I went to more panel talks, and then headed to the session that I was presenting in. I gave two presentations. One based on a white paper I wrote for the Space Foundation on Disease Early Warning, and another I did as part of my work at the University of Maryland focused on U.S. policy on climate change monitoring via satellite. I think the presentations went really well – people asked questions, and they came and talked to me after the session ended.

I had finished giving all four of my presentations, but I had one more speaking opportunity. The Space Foundation had decided to co-host one of the Young Professional Receptions, and since I was the only one there from my company (Steve left Thursday during the day), I was the one to give the welcome and give a brief description of our company. Even though this was only a 30 second talk, I think I was more nervous than in my four long talks, just because it’s not something I usually do. (And the representatives from the other sponsors were senior VPs…) It went well, though, and the reception was nice.

Afterwards we went out with some friends to a restaurant downtown. For some reason we chose a French restaurant, but I was pretty full from the hors d’eurves at the reception, so I just had soup. After dinner, Jeff and I headed to Cross Club to meet up with Lewis, Stephanie, Jeffrey, and David. Cross Club is pretty crazy – it’s a bar/club that is decorated with an industrial style. There are a bunch of moving pieces – in the area we were sitting, all of the tables had a twisting crankshaft above them. It’s a pretty cool-looking place. We got a bit hungry as it got late, and there was a little grill in the club, so we got fries and cheese. I thought it would be cheese on the fries, but really it was a big piece of fried cheese, and also fries. But it was pretty good. Jeffrey (not my Jeff) and David had burgers – they had olives and corn as toppings… interesting.

Jeff, Jeffrey, and I took a tram home – we were getting skeptical that it would ever come, because we waited quite a while. But it did come, and then we rode it for 25 stops until we got back to our hotel. (Nice job, Jeff, on understanding the tram system!)

We got home pretty late, and Jeff had a 7am flight out of Prague, so he didn’t sleep at all before he left. Hopefully that will mean he had a really easy time falling asleep on the plane. I’ll be headed out on the same flights, but exactly 24 hours later!

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