So many things have happened in the past few weeks I just can’t handle it. I sold my house and moved, Kyle and I got married, I went to Orlando for the 2014 ARVO meeting, and I graduated medical school.
I am officially Andrea Wenzel (soon to be Tooley) MD!
I have so many things to share with you and I’m going to try to blog about them in order, so I will start with the 2014 ARVO meeting in Orlando!
ARVO is the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. The annual conference is the largest research conference for vision science. I was able to attend last year when it was in Seattle and I presented a poster over the research I did as a third year.
This year, I was able to attend again to present a poster over the research I did as a fourth year.
The conference technically started on Saturday, but since I got married on Friday I didn’t want to leave Kyle the day after the wedding! I decided to fly out early Monday morning. Since I booked my flights way before we sold our house, my flight was leaving from Indianapolis (a 3.5 hour drive from my parents house) so I drove up to Indy Sunday night and stayed with a girlfriend.
Monday morning I flew to Orlando and checked in to my hotel right around noon.
The DoubleTree at Sea World was a gorgeous hotel! I would highly recommend staying there should you find yourself in Orlando 🙂 There were 3 different pools and the entire hotel was so tropical!
A few of my friends from medical school were staying at a different hotel, so I met up with them for lunch and some time at the pool.
It was glorious.
Later on, I checked into the conference and printed my badge so I could attend a few sessions. That night, I was scheduled to attend a little reception for recipients of Travel Grants this year. I lucked out and was awarded a Travel Grant from the National Eye Institute! My lab was thrilled to not have to cover my expenses, and I was incredibly honored to have been chosen for the award!
The next day (Tuesday) was my day to present my poster. I met up with my lab-mates and we all put our posters up early that morning. Since I had money from the travel grant, I wanted to treat my lab friends to breakfast. We decided on a little crepe stand at the convention center.
I got a crepe with eggs, cheese, and spinach.
It was huge. And I definitely ate the whole thing 🙂
Then it was poster presentation time! I stood by my poster for a few hours and got to meet so many great people! I was able to talk about my research, speak to other people conducting similar research, and learn about other projects.
I had a short break in the middle of the day before more sessions, so I quickly went back to my hotel. I had my eye on a huge hammock by the pool and I wanted to lie in the sun for an hour!
The afternoon held more sessions and poster discussion. That evening, I met up with my two amazing mentors and we went out for drinks. It was a great group of people and the conversation could have flowed all night. I am so sad to leave my lab and the wonderful people at IU, but I know my mentors will continue to guide me and be there (maybe even for research collaborations in the future!)
After a long, long day I was starving for dinner. All I wanted was to relax in my room, so I ordered room service! I usually never want to get room service because it’s so stinking expensive! But, it was totally worth it this night. I got a seafood salad and fruit.
I thought I ordered a small side of fruit, and this is what they brought me! Can’t complain about that!
The next day was my final day in Orlando. I packed up my things and headed back to the airport. After my flight to Indy I got in my car and drove the 3 hours home to my new husband!
All in all, ARVO was a great trip. I am so grateful I was able to go and present my research. It is SO inspiring to see all the amazing work being done in the field of ophthalmology.
Oh, also- I took this silly medical specialty quiz and thought my result was super funny 🙂
Have you ever been to a conference? Do you enjoy them?