The Scientiae theme for September is “my summer vacation.” My first week of class started today, so perhaps this is a good way to remind myself of what I’ve done this summer.
We had dinner early in May at a friend and colleague’s house to acknowledge my husband’s decision to step away from his tenure-track job.
I went to a co-PI meeting in Washington DC for a grant we are hoping to get in mid-May – learned a lot, networked, and got all jazzed up to get the grant. Unfortunately, at the end of August, we’re still waiting to hear. We have made progress in the meantime, however – we have some research protocols fleshed out, are in the process of getting our IRB protocols approved, and set some patterns in place. But I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t anxious about this.
In mid-June, I went to both the Inclusive Science Conference (presented 2 papers, liveblogged it too) and the National Women’s Studies Association National Conference (helped facilitate one session, delay-blogged it). I got to hang with a grad school friend, learned how to play Guitar Hero (but only the Police song, I don’t know the rest, I’m such a square), ate some pretty good Korean food, met some great people, and started a new blog on Feminist Science and Technology studies(official launch still to come).
After I sent in a paper to a journal for review, my husband and I flew to England and took the Chunnel to Paris, where we spent 4 lovely but exhausting days wandering around taking in as much French culture (and French baking) as we could. My French wasn’t as bad as I was worried it could be, we reconnected with family friends, and my husband got to taste real French croissants. I posted about it here.
We took the TGV to Zurich, and then the train to Davos for some phenomenal hiking and the Research in Engineering Education Symposium. My husband hiked all over the Alps, it seemed like, and while I participated in all the REES sessions (including my paper, doc here), I got my share of hiking in too. A post or two about the wandering and the conference for your perusal, and a slideshow of the REES group hike up the Sertig Valley. The REES Flickr pool is here.
From Switzerland, we headed back to England through Paris, and visited London, Cambridge and Oxford. We saw family, some of whom I haven’t seen in 15 years, and who my husband had never met. We saw friends who I haven’t seen since they got married and before they had kids. We wandered my old Cambridge haunts from when I lived there in 10th grade. We relaxed with my aunt, bought curtain fabric in the July sale at John Lewis’ (score!), and accepted an offer on our house in Illinois. And then we headed home again.
Meanwhile, back in Indiana, I’m working with graduate students, trying to shuffle work on the grant along, eating my CSA share, lamenting the state of my neglected backyard, and making space for all the stuff from Illinois to move into. Oh, and dog-sitting.
Mid August found us actually moving from Illinois to Indiana, and closing on the house in Illinois. Halving our carbon footprint happened on August 14, leaving behind the two-body problem and the dual career commuting life will happen September 2. W00T!
At the end of August, we had a barbeque welcoming new graduate students to the department. This was the culmination of a collaborative effort amongst students, staff and faculty that I chaired over the summer to try to set up better ways to introduce our new students to the department, and to get them well situated for the semester.
I had hoped to get another paper revised and back in for review. I have one that was revised that is still in its (second) review. I had hoped to draft another paper that I’m avoiding writing because it’s too important and I’m scared to take a stab at it (hence this ATNFM effort). Another research project didn’t get as far along as I had hoped this summer. But on the other hand, I spent some good time with family I hadn’t seen in ages, did some good hiking, and did advance on several work fronts.
I gotta say, though, the thing I am most thrilled of from on my summer vacation is my husband getting a good job in the same town as I. This is going to immeasurably improve my second year, and hopefully his life too. The specific travel or research or whatever conferences I’ve gone with or whatever will pass by the wayside. This will be remembered as the summer when we started living together, finally. And that’s not a bad memory to represent a whole summer.