Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meetings, Earthlings


Either an exhilarating exchange of ideas that will revolutionise science as we know it, or a bunch of bored people sitting in a room, listening to droning bigwigs.

I don't have half as many meetings as I did in my last job, and a much higher percentage of the ones I do have are of the useful variety. For this I am incredibly grateful.

On an ordinary meeting day I will gather my paper and pencils, put the kettle on, pop to the loo, make a cup of tea, and travel no more than 4 floors from my desk to join my colleagues.

Yesterday's meeting was on Granville Island, not an actual island but a small piece of reclaimed industrial land that is now a landscaped tourist attraction, complete with public market, nice stores, kayak rentals, etc. My office is only about 3 km away, so as I was only going to the afternoon session of an all-day meeting, I decided to walk down there on my lunch break.

During my postdoc years, a group of us would sometimes escape the lab early and bike or walk down to Granville Island for a beer, occasionally stopping to play a game of football. This experience has left me with some insider knowledge about the very cool shortcut I took yesterday, camera phone in hand.

This pleasant, leafy walkway is actually suspended over a main road.

You can hear the traffic, but can't see it, unless you climb up a small embankment towards a gap in the vegetation.

Once over the road, I continued through a park, complete with ponds and ducks, towards False Creek ("False" because it's actually an inlet of the ocean).

Yup, I had a nice sea-side stroll on the way to my meeting!

I was tempted to keep going - the path continues through more parks and several beaches - but dutifully turned right and went to my meeting.

I turned up happy and relaxed, and grabbed a left-over sandwich and cookie from the morning session. The meeting was small, and focused more on the politics of science than the actual science, but it was interesting.

I never got a cup of tea though.


  1. Mmmmmm, yes it was lovely. I really should try to get out for a walk more often, especially when sunlight is in such short supply (as you can tell from the photos!).

  2. it's not uncommon for me to escape there on lunch too! the park attached to that walkway is one of my favorite places to have lunch...just far enough from the office not to run into anyone :)

  3. I thought you usually escaped to Winners ;)

  4. How nice! We recently started having breakfast meetings. Not nearly as nice as getting outside but a nice change...

  5. *jealousy* How do you make lunch so fabulous T_T. My lunches are spent hunched over my computer reading dlisted *cough* journal articles *cough*

    wohoo I won comment of the weak *buys self gansitos*

  6. Albatross, I have some of those right now too - not good for my gym schedule!

    HG, you're welcome, I just wish I'd taken my real camera and/or had more time to get better shots.

    Hermitage, that sounds like my usual lunch break too!

  7. ahh.... Granivlle Island. Home of the loose tea from the Gods :) And the funnel cake from the same. And... you know....

    I miss Vancouver now. Although I took a walk on my lunch break today too - to and from the Dentist - and I agree with you. Taking a stroll in the sun in the middle of the day does make wonders for your mental health.

    Now, if only the Leafs could win next time...

  8. Bob, I'll get to that some time later this week!

    Chall, when I lived in Kits I biked to Granville Island almost every weekend. I'd pick up the week's fruit and veggies, then buy lunch from one of the stalls in the marketplace (I love the soup place - the Stock Market) and take it outside to brave the seagulls. We're further away now (and it would be a looooong haul up the hill with panniers full of food; driving there during the day is not a good option). But we do occasionally go to one of the bars or restaurants there. And we had 2 kegs of Granville Island Brewery beer at our wedding!

  9. Wow, I am so envious! All we have here is snow. And very cold wind. Did I mention the snow?

  10. I wish we had more snow. Not in town, but on the mountains... that'd be nice.


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