1.1 I had to complete the flight transfer in DC’s airport within 25 minutes due to the last flight’s delay. I walked from one end of the airport to the other end in a decent hurry and believed there should be enough time until I found out baggage check had to be done one more time before boarding. After a speedy series of unpacking and packing as well as undressing and dressing, finally I made it the moment the steward was closing the boarding gate. Just before I thought this couldn’t be more drama my pants fell down from my waist — I left my dammed belt at the baggage check…
1.2 The next evening I did the belt shopping in downtown Boston and continued the window shopping by myself when Rama (my professor) showed up on the street with his friends and introduced me to them. As always, I won’t give it a break to him, so I asked seriously,
“Rama, I didn’t have enough time to transfer flight and lost my belt on this business trip. Are you gonna refund the belt for me?”
“No, I won’t…” People laughed and rejected my proposal without even giving it a thought.
1.3 Rama’s friend gave me a good suggestion though, “Don’t worry about it. You can hit Boston’s airport 5 minutes earlier on your way back and tell people there you lost a belt. If they asked what color it is, just tell them brown. They probably would bring out over 100 belts among which you just need to pick the best one and claim it’s yours…”
2.1 Rama is a vegetarian but appears a little bit bellied.
During the conference, Rama asked Guanqun (my current officemate), Federico as well as Xiaoxiao (two of our lab’s alumni) and me to have a group lunch together, so I got the chance to ask Rama a question which had been bothering me for a while,
“Rama, can I ask you a question?”
“I have always been wondering how a vegetarian can end up with such a big belly like you…”
2.2 People laughed and Rama tried to argue “No, that’s not big…”
“At least it’s noticeable…” I nailed it.
“Alright, if you said that, it’s probably caused by cheese and persistent sitting and working hard. Mingwu, I am gonna measure your waist’s circumstance back in Lansing and measure it again before you graduate. If it doesn’t become bigger, I won’t let you have your Ph. D…”
3. By the end of one presenter’s presentation, I was trying to ask two questions. But my turn didn’t come until the chair pointed at me said, “OK, the last question please.”
I hesitated a little bit and cleared my throat, “My question is, ‘Can I ask two questions?’ ”
4. I attended one session addressing children’s mental disease when the chair asked all people in the room to introduce themselves and what interested them to come to this session.
Just as my turn came, I was being quite honest, “My name is Mingwu from Michigan State University. I am not really familiar with this topic. I am quite interested to know if I have some mental disease…”
Topic kinda unrelated to this conference.
I took this picture in Cleveland’s airport and got refreshed with the lesson that “The room next door to women’s door may not be men’s room.” I learned a couple of years ago.
Here was how I learned this lesson. I entered a room next door to women’s room in an airport, realized something wrong and got out without giving any thought. An old lady walking into the same room became extremely unconfident with herself upon seeing me walking out of that room. She stepped backward a little bit and scrutinized the room’s tag a couple of more times until she assured herself with the room’s function and got in.”