The day before my first international scientific presentation I came down with what I will term "Traveler's D." I'm not sure where I contracted this gastrointestinal illness from, be it the revenge of a bit of the donkey I was convinced to try or a lapse in my spartan crusade against drinking water from sources unknown to me, but it was doing its part to make sure that my first international presentation was going to be... adventurous. On top of my "Traveler's D," I also happened to come down with a cold that sent my nose running all the way back to America. With my body revolting against me, who knew how well this presentation was actually going to go.
As it turned out, my body at least worked with me a little bit. Having had to use the facilities just five minutes before I went on stage, everything held itself inside of me for the 45 minutes I spoke and the 30 minutes of questions afterwards (thanks be to God!). There were about 20 people who showed up to hear my talk (a few professors, many students, and one Ming Zhu), which I was happy about considering that I was speaking (albeit slowly) in English and nearly all of the other presentations that are given at KIB are in Chinese. Dr. Lu Lu, who has become one of my guardian angels looking over me here, started things off by giving a truly wonderful introduction of me. After handing the floor over to me, I began by again introducing myself, the Miller lab at St. Louis University, and an open invitation, on behalf of my adviser, Dr. Miller, for future collaboration and visits to SLU and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Then I launched into my talk,
The group of about 20 KIB researchers (and Ming, front row red-white striped shirt) who showed up to listen to my presentation.
Dr. Lu Lu (left) looks on as I passionately field some excellent questions.
And so, while I continue to fight off my cold and "Traveler's D" (for which I have started a five day regimen of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin), I can at least rest assured that my first international scientific presentation did not go down the drain, like everything else seemingly has!