By the time you read this, I will be 5000-6000 meters (30,000 feet) above the ground, somewhere between Frankfurt and Riga. After a one-and-a-half hour layover, I will board another plane that is flying to gorgeous Helsinki, Finland!
Even though I am still sick (and still barely have a voice), I am excited beyond words! I have my laptop and two beautiful cameras with me (one with three different lenses) and I am ready to snap hundreds of photographs of my favorite places to share with you whilst I am there. If there are any places that you wish me to go to photograph for you in Helsinki proper, let me know in the comments thread below and I’ll do my best to go to those places for you.
For those who care, my spouse is with me and we are returning to attend the defense of one of his grad students. Unlike in the USA, a PhD defense is quite the special occasion in the EU. The advisors and committee members are expected to wear suits and ties or tails, and the student who is defending is expected to wear tails! As the spouse of the defending student’s advisor, I am expected to wear A DRESS!!!!! Eeeeek! So I whipped out a stunning little black thing I bought on the discard rack .. erm, sales rack .. in NYC. Even my spouse, who by now is quite bored by the sight of me, was impressed when he saw me wearing it.
Even though the university is Finnish, the defense will be in English, so I think I might tweet it and snap some photographs as it commences, for those who are curious. It will take place Monday afternoon (Monday morning, very early, for those of you in the USA). Since the defense is public, I can live tweet it and will probably enjoy this little glimpse into the 21st century.
When I defended in the USA, I did wear a dress (nothing fancy) and my advisors and committee members dressed a little better than usual, but most people wore the scientist’s universal apparel (jeans and a t-shirt).