ACS meeting: An experience

Mahesh Paudyal, University of Missouri-St. Louis

I was excited to participate in national meeting of American Chemical Society (ACS). There were three reasons of my excitement: first, I was going to the nation’s capital for the first time, second, it was my first participation in national level meeting and, third, I was delivering my first oral presentation, here in the United States. I was becoming one of the eyewitnesses of society’s 238th national meeting from August 16-20 at Washington, D. C.

I found Washington, D. C. very hot and humid when we landed there. I do not hesitate to say that we could not figure out the way to the Hotel from web like map of subway train (and we did not bother to ask anybody) which forced us to take the easiest way, taxi (We were aware that boss has still got the NIH fund). We looked each other’s face when we figured out that it (the Hotel) was actually very near from airport and there was a train station just across the street.

From left (up): Lekh N Sharma Gautam, Basu Dev Panthi, Ravi Adhikari, Krishna Panthi, Mahesh Paudyal

I felt like the wave of chemistry is wading me to the shore of sea (full of chemicals) when I went to the Walter E. Convention Center of Wash. D. C., the meeting place and saw huge crowd of chemists (14,234 attendees, C&EN, August 24, 2009). Registration followed by attending the selective sessions of oral presentation (from “BIG” guys of Chemistry) and poster sessions was really helpful, academically. 

“Your English is good but you still have got very thick accent.” This was the first comment that I got from my adviser when I was presenting my talk in front of him few days before leaving to D. C. This, of course, brought lines of disappointment on my face but I did not defend as I knew that it was true. In spite of my nervousness and rush (my greatest demerit), I talked quite well (my own judgment, because I know myself). So I was happy for my first oral presentation in national meeting in front of a medium sized crowd.

I also met some Nepali students. We (Raj K Malla and I) were together in the journey which later was accompanied by my dear dai (Basu Dev Panthi, Baylor University) and Lekh Nath Sharma Gautam (from West Virginia University). We met Mr. Kirshna Panthi and Ravi Adhikari (from Ohio) and Jib R Acharya (from Louisiana).

We took this opportunity to visit nation’s capital. The White House (very simple white colored house, from outside), National space and air museum were among the few but important places that we visited. Vending and mobile shops, beggars at every corner of the street, some narrow and untidy roads and very unclean fast food restaurants were forcing me to ask one question (with obvious answer), Is this the world’s most powerful country’s capital? 

Some facts and figures about this meeting: the largest ever meeting at a Washington, D. C., national meeting, 14,234 attendees (8,531 regular registrants, 3,152 students, 1,438 exhibitors, 458 guests and so). There were 453 booths, 307 exhibitors, and six work-shops at the exposition. (C&EN, August 24, 2009).

From left (down): Mahesh Paudyal, Basu Dev Panthi, Raj K Malla, Lekh N Sharma Gautam

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