Conference camaraderie.

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I always appreciate my good friends in academia extra much during conferences:

1) I like that there is always a backchannel or conversational thread in which we muse about little happenings to unload our brains, and to wish each other well before our talks.

2) I like that these threads collate our plans and whereabouts for the day so we know where to find company when we need it.

3) I like that amidst learning intelligent things and serial networking with semi-strangers, we find pockets of time to reunite across a crowded room for mutual care and to destress before going back to the watering hole.

4) I like that we can read each others’ facial expressions and glances and glares from across the room and help to extract people from difficult situations.

5) I like that we have cultivated a good balance between serious game face mode and pure afterhours frivolity and fun without the stress of needing to activate work persona all the time.

6) I like that we check in with each other to make sure everyone has gotten back safely after a wild night.

7) I like that all this social labour is a genuine, reciprocal friendship that operates out of care rather than pragmatism.

8) I like that I will get to grow up and grow old with these folks throughout my career.

Image: Last panel on the last day featuring #teamaustralia on sexualities. Image kudos to Brady Robards’ Instagram via Sonja Vivienne’s cellphone via Paul Byron’s expert framing skills.

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