Or almost perfect, I should say. Hawaii is always a blast but not as fun alone as with my best friend aka hubby. I did a quick trip to Honolulu last weekend to participate in American Psychological Association’s (APA) convention , and presented my military spouse research paper ( “Military Spouses Perception of PTSD and Depression” ) there. The paper was accepted as part of APA’s special Presidential Programming . The presentation was a real success: there were a good-size crowd listening to it, despite the early morning start time. As always with public speaking, I had a blast – there is runner’s high, could there be such a thing as speaker’s high ? And the presentation was followed by excellent feedback from the audience, wonderful questions, and several follow-up requests with professionals working in the military setting. Success for sure!
Convention badge with my Division Ribbons.
In addition to presenting my research, I had a chance to enjoy the sunshine and gorgeous beaches. The convention was conveniently scheduled so that symposiums ended by 1400 – leaving enough time for fun. However, at the same time the social events were running in the afternoons and evenings, giving a break from being a beach bum all the time. This time I was taking it really easy and just enjoyed my short tropical escape with no special plans – no luau’s to go to, no schedules beyond the conference…. Once again I stayed at my favorite Waikiki resort, exclusive for military, Hale Koa , being just a few short steps from the beach (and Barefoot Bar ). So I was hanging out on the beach or in the bar and polishing my presentation between symposiums, socializing and networking. If you ever go to Honolulu area and stay in Waikiki, Mai Tais at Barefoot Bar are hard to beat what comes to the both taste and price. And Barefoot Bar is open for public too, although military gets better prices.
Who doesn’t love the beach?
But back to the convention…. my time in Hawaii was not only about beach and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). Or a morning run from Hale Koa to the top of Diamond Head and back. The programming of the event was simply enormous. I had received my conference program catalog (like size of the old fashioned phone book) weeks earlier, used my iPad APA app, and despite all the planning I always found three or four interesting sessions going simultaneously…. So what did I learn in a few days? Shortly, a lot. But since I don’t want to bore you to the death with psychology neediness, just a few highlights here.
Well, at least my dog is super smart – he knows quite a few words, maybe even more than 165 discussed by Stanley Coren from University of British Columbia . And as soon as I reunite with our beloved Tassu again (he is enjoying hot east coast summer with the hubby), we will practice some new words ….
I was also listening an interesting presentation about findings suggesting that moms’ high-fat, sugary diet may be related to children’s taste for alcohol . Since I have been doing research on Conditioned Place Preference (CPP) with alcohol using hamsters models, any substance-related study gets extra attention from me.
It was also exciting to hear about technology’s role in psychology . According to researchers from the Institute of Communication Culture and Information Technology at the University of Toronto Mississauga in Ontario, autistic children’s communication capabilities increase significantly through new technologies such as iPad and iPod Touch.
It was my first APA convention, and definitely not the last. I greatly enjoyed the experience, so next year I will be signing up for Washington DC convention as soon as the registration opens. And next time I will participate in traditional Division 47′s (Exercise and Sport Psychology) 5K race; this year I somehow missed it. Although it might have been just a good thing since my injured knee is not
fully healed yet.
My non-convention related accomplishments included a SUP class on my last afternoon in the paradise, and greatly enjoyed it. I didn’t face plant on the board as I maybe was anticipating; in fact fell only once on my butt and managed to get back up by myself . Although it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to ask the hot instructor guy to assist…. :)
If I lived in the tropical paradise, it would be tempting to have my own board. But in gray, 56-degree Alaskan weather the idea does not sound that appealing anymore. Or maybe I am a big wimp?
I also did my traditional 9-mile run from Hale Koa to Diamond Head and back. Now when I know more about my knee (and after a very painful cortisone shot), it wasn’t the greatest idea but I am blaming too-good-to-be-true weather and my running shoes that -I swear- were calling my name.
And of course I got sunburns again. But that’s a no-brainer. See you next time, Hawaii! I’ll bring the hubby too :)
Fireworks on the beach!