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Achievement unlocked: Asked to give a talk.

Actually, I’m not sure how much of an achievement that is. And it’s certainly not one I ever intended or desired to unlock.

I recently attended an industry workshop for work. During the keynote speech, they asked all the systems integrators (of which THEM is) to stand up for recognition so that others working for OEMs or manufacturing, etc would know who to contact if they ever needed help with some of the things that were being presented. What I didn’t notice when we all stood up was that I was the only female engineer attending the workshop. All the other women (there were a few) in the room worked for the vendor organizing and presenting the workshop and were part of sales and/or marketing. I don’t notice these things anymore because it’s just the way it is. I work in a very male dominated industry. Oh well. But it does make me stick out sometimes. And this was one of those times. Because also attending this workshop was an engineering professor from a local community college. He took note of me and specifically sought me out during the break. Sugh.

Turns out, aside from professing, he also is the advisor/mentor to some engineering clubs. Clubs whose members include female engineering students. Female engineering students who have been asking him what they can expect as they continue on in the field. He wanted me to speak to them and share my experiences, etc. SUGH.

I guess it’s flattering to be asked to give a talk. I’m not sure. I haven’t really sorted that out. I understand why he would like me to speak to those students. And I can understand how those students feel as they near graduation and need to find a way to start their career. But…I don’t really want to. I don’t do well with large crowds of people and I don’t really enjoy physically speaking. Some people love the sound of their own voice and can’t stop talking. I am not one of them. I definitely prefer written forms of communication for most settings. But no one gives a talk via chat room. That would be inefficient. Maybe I could negotiate an email Q and A session or something instead. I mean, I don’t mind helping them out. It’s a different space to navigate as a female engineer (which is kind of an asinine thing to say, because it’s a different space for every single person). But at the same time, I hardly feel qualified to be giving advice. Aside from being female…I am almost the stereotypical engineer. So…yeah.

As we all know, I sometimes do ridiculous things. Or actually, the thing itself may not be ridiculous but the motivation behind it might be. Like the time I decorated a cake in my hotel room without even a kitchenette. Or the time I…did other things that are ridiculous but I can’t remember right now. Or the time I make chicken soup solely because the dog was sick.

Yes, I made chicken soup. Totally normal thing to do. Lots of people do this. But why did I make chicken soup? Because Horse was sick.

Yes. Horse. Not any human friend or relative that I knew. I have never made chicken soup for a sick human friend or relative. But my dog, who is a better horse than a dog, who is relatively stupid and annoying, who is clingy to a fault, who is big and clunky and nothing at all like my little princess dog, was sick.

I think Horse had a bad case of kennel cough. I had to board him and Yaris the weekend before and I noticed a few days after picking them up that Horse was clearing his throat a lot. Then it progressed to coughing. Then it progressed to hacking and choking and coughing and vomiting. He actually also had a fever on the worst morning. He looked so pathetic and shivery that I decided to take him to the vet where he got IV fluids and antibiotics (and a chest xray and a blood test and a course of oral antibiotics). I always think it’s funny when dogs have to get an IV. The vet has to shave a little bald spot into their arm. And it looks ridiculous. Hahaha.

Anyway, the vet and I decided that it was most likely that Horse had a bad case of kennel cough over some of the more exotic things that he could have and that he was just going to have to take it easy for a couple of weeks. Horse has no problem with taking it easy. But he still was having issues with coughing. He would cough so much that he would start vomiting. This was incredibly annoying for me, since I had to clean it up. But I’m sure it was also really uncomfortable for him. So I made him some chicken soup in hopes that it might speed his recovery a bit, or at least make him feel a little better. Also…it gave me an excuse to play with the pressure cooker.

I kind of just made up a recipe here involving carrots and celery, dried thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper (basically whatever spices and herbs I had in the pantry), and maybe a 4lb chicken? I forgot exactly how big of a chicken I used. Anyway, I dumped everything into the Instant Pot and cooked under high pressure for 15 minutes and then released the pressure using the quick release valve. When it was cool enough, I pulled all the meat off the chicken, dumped the meat back into the soup, and gave some to Horse (and also Yaris because I would have never heard the end of it if Yaris didn’t get any). I had some too. It was pretty good. I think I like pressure cooker chicken soup over slow cooker chicken soup. And it’s faster.

(Um…I know I had a photo.  But I can’t find it anymore.  Sorry.  Just imagine a bowl of chicken soup right here.  Kthx.)