Here I am, about to fly to Melbourne for the AARE conference. Seven months ago when I submitted my abstract for a poster presentation, I had no idea what it meant to create a poster. Actually at that time I thought it would be an easy task. Ignorance is bliss!!
In October I was part of a three week writing cycle program with the goal of finishing the draft of a paper as the base of the poster. Though I struggled I managed to write the draft in the three weeks´time period and give it to my supervisors for feedback. It was a rewarding experience. I disciplined myself and I wrote almost everyday for a couple of hours. I proved myself that I can write a logical, sound and academic paper. It is still a working paper, but it is looking good!
I had the draft of the poster,feedback, and comments , so everything I would need to make up my poster. I started with the task, and immediately I realised that some diagrams were needed and I didn´t know how I was going to make them. Then, I had to select the text I was going to showcase. How much text to select? The paper I had written was 5,000 words and on the poster, I probably didn´t need not more than 500 words. What to do? I asked for help and support. I felt I couldn´t do it on my own and I cried for help to staff, academics, peers and friends.
Criticism, feedback and collaboration contributed to make the poster and today I can present the poster at AARE conference. My learnings out of all this experience are: don´t underestimate any academic task; work in collaboration with others; be humble and disciplined and do your best.