One long week ago I was relishing in the magic of AGU (sadly I am now working feverishly on revisions I would like to have off my desk for the holidays, but it’s looking bleak). Part of that magic is the ‘Speaker Ready Room’ and a big part of that magic is Rick. At ESA you try to show up before your session starts to load your talk on whatever random computer is waiting. At AGU a whole room of helpful, calm staff help you upload your talk in advance—on PC or Mac. It’s magical, you really have to see it to believe but let me try to describe.
You walk in, there’s sometimes a small line, which is actually fun because the mood is so festive: lights strung up, several large monitors cycle through Happy Kwanza, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and ‘All talks must be uploaded 1 hour before your session starts.’ At the front of the line you arrive at a set of desks elevated above you just enough to make you feel that these folks know what they are doing (and they do). You give your name and flashdrive to a nice man who asks what computer platform you want. He then instantly sends you to one of many, many computers in the room where you view just how your talk will look—for sure—when you give it. You can practice it, talk to yourself, talk to your friend, rummage through the plastic cups of sucker candies for a good one. Did I mention I love this place?
At the end you check out with Rick. Rick has seven (7) monitors and is awesome. He’s jovial, easy and so clearly on top of everything. I cannot adequately explain how magical he is, except to say that of the friends who I asked to help capture his magic on film, one commented ‘I tried, but it’s so hard—he really is so magical in person, impossible to capture on film.’
And then one superfluous photo of doing partial R-squares while waiting for the cable car to take us back to Union Square.