To any of you out there who don't already know, I have been invited to sit on a panel at a film launch, tomorrow at 7 pm at the National Film Board of Canada building in Toronto. This film explores one woman's quest to discover her purpose/identity in science, after realizing her dissatisfaction with the answers provided by religion. She interviews several scientists who have worked on/written about the Burgess Shale, a deposit in the B.C. Rockies that contains some of the most exquisitely preserved - and most strange - ancient creatures that have ever been found. I am doing my dissertation on the re-classifications of the Burgess Shale organisms, which is where I come into this picture.
If you are close enough to come to the premiere - and of course if you are interested - everyone is welcome, and it's free. More info here: http://www.nfb.ca/mediatheque/en/december.html
(My event is the second one listed.)
I'm kinda nervous. Everyone else on the panel is a Somebody - the director/narrator/star of the film, one of the most important Burgess Shale scientists in the whole world, and assorted other Ph.D.s - and I'm so Not.
At least I found something to wear: I went to Eaton Centre on Monday and bought a pair of dark grey pinstriped dress pants and two black shirts. [Thanks to double0hilly
and C.V. for much-needed fashion advice!] I have decided to wear the dressier shirt - it is one of those wraparound looking things, and it looks surprisingly elegant on me. I will also wear a necklace my sister gave me, and my black leatherish jacket, and carry my black leatherish shoulder bag.
My supervisor thinks I should put my hair up, and while I agree that this is a good idea in theory, in practice I think it will be best not to. I never put my hair up because a) I am extremely dolichocephalic (i.e. my head is long and funny-looking), b) it gives me a headache, and c) it will make my hair look all pink instead of partly pink, since all the pink is underneath.
But OMG I just got an email from the organizer dude/fellow panelist informing me that "Each panel member has 5 minutes total to discuss or expand upon topic of their choice". Nice of them to tell us - a whole 25 hours in advance - about this. I guess tonight will be spent figuring out what the hell I want to say. I guess this is a good idea, though. I would rather have the opportunity to say something coherent and hopefully half-intelligent, and then be put on the spot with random questions that I may not be able to answer, than just be put on the spot with random questions and have my answers to those questions be the only way people have to judge my contribution to the panel. So yeah, this is a good thing, I guess.
I think I'm gonna go have some pizza.[ETA: I just noticed I used the phrase "I guess" three times in four sentences. Here's hoping I don't talk like this tomorrow...]