I am still on my whirlwind trip through Europe. Kristen and I just spent a few days in Amsterdam after finishing up in Geneva, and I gave my first real external talk ever there. I was incredibly nervous beforehand, but Kristen made me practice a bunch of times before the actual day. For some reason, the practicing was much worse than the actual talk (and not just because practicing made it easier). But the talk at the University of Amsterdam went quite well. The only problem was that it was WAY too short. Like half the time it should have been. I was pretty embarrassed, but I think it was probably ok - no one minds when a talk is really short, and now I know I can add in a bunch more slides (I actually took out a significant number because I thought it was too long). I also have to say, one person in the audience asked a question which called the accuracy of my results into question, and I felt like I handled it pretty well. I think I rallied on the next slide and just continued on, after thanking him for the comment. Actually, I'm pretty sure he was right about what he said - it shouldn't invalidate our results, but I think it might actually lead to something more interesting than what we already have. Which means that I'll have to spend some of my vacation time in Paris figuring it out. But that's ok, it'll be cool if it comes out correctly.
Anyway, so I felt really good to have finished the first talk. Now we're in Paris in our TINY hotel room. But we're right smack in Montmarte in a really cool part of town, and I think we're going to really have fun. I've never been to Paris, so I'm really looking forward to this. I'm trying to break out my incredibly rusty francais, so we'll see if I can get people to talk to me. It never really worked in Montreal, but perhaps Parisians will abide my crappy french.