To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, I made it. I gave my five minute speech without any major hitches, after two days of saying it over and over to the mirror and to Ian (who could probably say the whole thing flawlessly having heard it so much). We walked in at 5:30 and listened for fifteen minutes to the new provost, Provost Simpson, discuss her vision for the school. She talked in the long-term, sketching ambitious long-term goals for the school that struck me as a little odd. Then, later, I found out she had taken a B.S., M.S., and PhD in geology and her time frames made so much more sense. Geologists think in millions of years; what is a decade or two to a geologist? It made me think that she was acutally well-suited for the position, since it meant she thought very far in advance for the school.
After my five minutes of terror passed, we adjourned to the Odeum for a fancy dinner. I hoped to get to eat dinner with people, network with them, and make some good contacts… That is, I hoped that until I learned I was seated at the Industrial Engineering table. Bah! I still chatted with them, but it felt pointless and disappointing. The food, however, was delicious: salad and bread, followed by fish with rice, and a creamy fruit tart for dessert. The whole meal ended at 8:30, and when I got home at 8:45 (after an amazingly nervous walk home alone; I kept thinking of the two WPI students who had been robbed at gunpoint not far from there) I realized I had not packed at all for my flight the next morning.
I packed quickly, getting to bed as early as possible since the Worcester Limo people picked me up at 4:45 the next morning. But I stayed awake and so 4:20 came much sooner than I might have hoped — since I woke up at 3:30 and couldn’t sleep again. The ride to the airport took an hour and a half, as the van driver had slept in and we had to go get him. Plus we had two other people to pick up. Fortunately, although I got to the airport much later than I would have liked, I had only to get into the TSA line. So I actually got to the gate with plenty of time to spare, and I wished I could have slept a little more.
It was a long flight. I hoped to sleep, but only got about 45 minutes in. Then I felt too awake, and instead read a book and listened to music for the next six hours. The nice thing about no checked baggage is not having to wait for the slow baggage handlers to toss around your fragile bags. Because I arrived in the middle of the day on a weekday, nobody could pick me up. Instead, I took a bus to Bellevue for $2.50 – and it only took about an hour, as well. That’s almost as long as it takes in a regular car. Then I took another bus to BCS, where Mom had a car I could drive home. By 3:00 Seattle time, I was very tired. But I stayed awake long enough to have dinner with a friend of Mom’s who works in the HR department at Boeing. She gave me helpful suggestions on how to fix up my resume based on how she read resumes.
Then I slept. And sleeping felt really, really good…. until I woke up at 5:30, unable to sleep longer. But that was OK. My time at home is nice: Mom and I went grocery shopping, which is always amusing; Dad and I bought running shoes for me at Everyday Athlete (on sale, $48) that I really like; and I learned how to make a graham cracker crust from scratch for our chocolate-pudding pie topped with cherry pie filling. That is the sum of my time in Washington. And it feels grrrreat.