Why an academic conference is like the Olympic Games

For the past couple of months I’ve been tied up in co-organising a session at a major conference. Given the challenges I’ve encountered, I realised that going to a conference is no different than going to the Olympic Games, in more ways than one:

1. You need patience and hard work to get there (a.k.a. determination to overcome administrative work)

2. There is a weight lifting competition (dragging your luggage across an unknown city, when you decide to save the money and switch several means of transportation til you reach the accommodation)

There is a running competition (in the coffee breaks)

and a fighting competition (fighting with words that is, of course)

3. And there are the stars of the show (gathering crowds to watch their performance)

and the “not so lucky ones”

Source: PhD comics
PS: A strong argument in favour of this juxtaposition is a simple search on Google Images for the word “academia”- the first dozen pictures are photos of gyms 🙂

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