Into the great unknown…

This may be my last post before arriving in San Diego. Tonight I leave for Ithaca, NY and Cornell homecoming, which seemed like a good idea before everything got screwed up with the dates of our trip. Homecoming is always great, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of my best friends from college, but I’m also anxiously looking ahead to next week. I leave for San Diego straight from New York, so I won’t be back in Seattle until October 16th.

I’m feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness, maybe better described as mania and dread. Everything is so uncertain, as evidenced by my packing job. Normally a relatively light traveler, this time I have gone a little crazy. I’ve stuck in just about every functional article of clothing I own (it will likely be warm in San Diego, but cold up in the north Pacific). I can’t tell if there will be a lot of downtime (tons of books, movies, and podcasts), or constant work to be done (pens, pencils, notebooks, calculator, zip drives, external hard drives, and of course my laptop). It could be like this: or this: In any case, I expect I’ll be laughing at myself about a number of the things I packed (or kicking myself about what I forgot) when it’s all said and done.

Then there’s the science. I’ve never been part of an experiment where you don’t get a redo. You get what you get. The reality is that some things won’t go as planned. It’s up to us to roll with the punches and make the best of what we’re given. As a student who depends on the data from this cruise for my degree, that’s pretty frightening. But it’s also exciting: by October 15th I’ll have the source of my dissertation contained on my hard drive (or at least most of it)! Most grad students can’t say that.

Let’s do this.

– Mike

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