We just touched down again in the Big Apple the day before yesterday at 8am. The whirlwind that was the American Psychological Association annual conference had come to an end, a half a day behind schedule due to a cancelled flight.
Thursday we arrived in Toronto, where the APA conference was held this year. After weeks of planning travel logistics, preparing our respective presentation materials, and making sure our commitments were in good shape in NYC, we departed for an amazing weekend . The first evening, we went to an opening awards ceremony where we heard a lively speech by Bryan Baird, elected representative to Washington and clinical psychologist. Speaking about a number of issues in the field of psychology, from overly remedial undergraduate psychology courses to the need for psychology in politics, Baird paused to put a cone shaped piece of aluminum on his head. Why? To poke fun of critics who have grumpily accused him of mind control.
We bolted to the front after the ceremony and got a snazzy photo of all of us.
The rest of the weekend was characterized by a blur of division meetings, poster sessions, and social hours. Most of the division meetings were held in hotel suites, and it was fascinating to compare the types of personalities that filled the rooms of respective meetings. The Humanistic division were all very touchy-feely and brought up issues of making a book on compassion, whereas the Media division had more administrative and technical goals to accomplish.
One of highlights of the weekend was an 8AM poster session that Dr Judy arranged for Ryan and me. Walking into the softly lit, classically elegant Royal York hotel suite, Ryan and I were slightly apprehensive about having a good showing. To our relief, a nice collection of people showed up including heads of the division and fellow students. We spoke about the various modes of reconciliation and healing between Japanese and Americans, and it was an honor to have feedback from such distinguished professionals, as well. Julie Levitt, Martin Butler, and Eduardo Diaz all contributed to the discussion, and it was wonderful to see other young people. Gabe Twose, who was responsible for much of the pre event planning and volunteer logistics, was one recent college grad who is active in the division. He and I did some event planning for the evening social, which had an amazing turnout.
Dr Judy presented in front of a larger audience on Sex, Love and Relationships with two other therapists, and had a book signing in the main convention arena. A great showing in both, and many interesting individuals in attendance.
Despite our canceled flight, we made the best of the situation and spent our last night in Toronto where we amused ourselves and a classic round of charades. “A Room with a View” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” were notable hits.