Why Reading Emails Carefully Is Important

Gather round everyone, this is a story about why I am procrastinating in writing this blog post. Meta, huh? I’m not sure which emotion I feel strongest right now: dismay, anger (at myself, and others), shame, resignation. They’re all there in a delightfully dark melange of mindfeels which I will call my maximum fun chamber (aka, my skull).

There is a conference at my faculty this coming week, the 27th Annual Symposium of the Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa, let’s just call it PRASA. Being the dutiful academic which I am, my supervisor told me to I signed up for the conference months ago, and banged out a work-in-progress piece, not expecting much. This is my first big-boy conference application after all. IEEE and everything, much wow, very official.

Lo and behold I was accepted with good reviews, minimal revision required! I receive another email, noting that my paper doesn’t have to be camera ready, I’ll get details about the poster presentations later.

This would come to haunt me.

Cheerfully I ignore this email, I’ve been accepted for oral presentation, it says so right in the first email. Right. RIGHT?

Time does it’s thing and passes by, another email arrives, “Hey, register here for workshops, and if your paper wasn’t accepted and you want to make a poster presentation also register for this before the 18th”. All is well, I am unconcerned, I register for some cool workshops. I ponder the posters which other people will be presenting.

Forward to yesterday, the final conference program is out, looks shiny! Go see which session I am presenting in, not day one, must be day two then! Not on day two. Huh… Oh! Work-in-progress papers! Ah, they must’ve a separate track for them, silly me.

Work-in-progress poster presentations. Poster. Not oral.

Well fuck.

So I’ve spent about two weeks revising a presentation I am not going to give. Getting data which I won’t be discussing, because I don’t have a poster, and I can’t have a poster, because I missed the registration deadline, because I don’t fully consider the contents of emails beyond my own blind optimism and assumptions that because I haven’t gotten previously implied details of poster presentations I am giving an oral presentation so why email for clarification because admitting confusion is the first step to a slippery slope of death. *inhales sharply*.

Yeah, this is pretty much my fault, the emails are clear enough in hindsight. I emailed the registrar, to find out if by some miracle I can still register a poster. I’m procrastinating trying to make a poster now out of faint hope I still get accepted and get to stick my poster up somewhere official. I am not in a state conducive to being productive, hence this post.

In order to make myself feel better I present doggo: Don’t like Emma the doggo? Well you can just leave Here are some stars then: