It’s Saturday morning and I am sitting in an all-day-long conference. The course is in-town – and free, so it makes for a genuine bargain. The price? : I have to sit still for a full day while listening to presentations. Perhaps once upon a time I could do this, but nowadays it is a challenge. My attention span dissipates by 2PM (on a good day); my backside doesn’t care for it either.

 

Whenever there is a conference I look around to see the demographics and characteristics of my fellow wizards. This being Saturday, and a warm day to boot,  the men are mostly dressed in aloha-style shirts. The speakers are naturally in suits and ties.  Headshrinkers of the female persuasion are dressed more ‘professional casual’. * Once in a while I see a more liberal/radical type in berkenstocks and hippie-wear but there are none today.  Only a few look cliche viz. Freud-like.

 

As is often the case I sense everyone here knows everyone else but me. This is the problem for working in a hobbit-hole of a clinic; I don’t get out much to rub elbows and network. I don’t see too many ‘youngsters’, which may be related to it being Saturday and an all day conference.**

 

The fellow next to me is typing away, apparently typing up a lecture of his own. His laptop has an audacious Grateful Dead label on his laptop. I don’t smell pot, but I am dubious about a dead-head-head-shrinker.  But I shouldn’t judge books by their cover, nor laptops by their tops.

 

The most interesting lecture is on bipolar depression and children. Urs truly is unhappily bereft of munchkins in his personal and professional life, so it was intriguing to hear the tips how to sort through the differential why junior is be being truculent. I don’t want to get too skilled in pediatric psychiatry lest a few turn up in my office.

 

The conference is educational and stimulating, but it deprives me of having a Saturday. The paperwork I usually do on Saturday will be postponed for Sunday.  No rest for me and it’s back to the gulag on Monday. Noblesse oblige.

 

 

* To be specific, ersatz Spo-shirts. Most of the shirts are downright rubbish.

**  Alas, there are no especially handsome ones on which to lay my eyes while a colleague is reading a well-researched but uninspiring paper.

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