So I’ve just returned ‘home’ from my first ever poster presentation for the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (referred to as APCRSHR for short) and it was amazing! While I’ve presented papers before, this was my very first time doing an actual poster presentation so it took some adjustment— the first adjustment being having to create an actual poster. Most academics aren’t trained in graphic design so this is a daunting task. I wasn’t trained in graphic design either, but fortunately (or unfortunately) had the experience of making a few tarpaulins during my younger years in exchange for money which I used to buy books. Think of that famous quote from Erasmus, “When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food.”
In any case, this was a decade ago and my poster-making skills were rusty, resulting in a pastel-colored monstrosity as the prototype. Thanks to some skilled intervention, the color palette was re-thought out and so it became the form it is today. When in the academe, it’s essential to have good friends around who won’t just say everything you do is good!
I’m not sure which I like more, poster presentations or actual ‘presentation’ presentations as they each have their own pros and cons. The poster was up for a full day and night so quite a number of people were able to see it and take note of my contact details, I hope, whereas talks can run for longer and are generally more in-depth. I must admit I enjoyed making the poster though, it’s been too long since art formed part of my life.
The conference itself went smoothly barring the pro-life protesters who tried to shut the whole thing down, the long delays between breakout sessions because of delegates meandering through the huge PICC, and the sheer number of people that seemed to think that just because it is a sexual rights conference it is their right to hit on you, badly. It is not. One of the more memorable pickup lines was “So, do you have a boyfriend?” which was asked to me while at the refreshments table during lunch.
The conference kit did include a packet of Frenzy condoms, so perhaps this was the misunderstanding. The condoms are not there to be used with fellow delegates, but to promote sexual health, people! Or use them with your fellow delegates, who am I to judge. In sum, excellent presentations, passionate speeches, and time well spent in Manila.