The sun is shining! The sun is shining! The sun is shining! I thought this place was beautiful in the gloomy, cloudy skies and rain, but it is even more breathtaking in the sunshine! I had to dig out my sunglasses, I haven’t needed them since I arrived.
I woke up at 4:30 am this morning to a text message – which cost me $.25 to send/receive, so I knew it had to be important – and it was. It was the text I have been waiting for since Saturday from Alex! I got up and was able to Skype with him for a short while. He is 8 hours behind me, so he was getting ready to go out for dinner. We Skyped again when he got back from dinner, about 11:30 pm his time and 7:30 am my time. I was just getting up for the day and he was just going to bed. SO WEIRD. Though he was grateful to have a nice, hot shower after a week (I bet he really stunk) and good food and a cozy bed to sleep in, he said he actually had a good time out in the woods. I’m so glad to hear that because I’ve been thinking and praying for him all the time, hoping he wasn’t too miserable.
It was so good to hear his voice and be able to see him. I think he lost nearly 10 pounds while he was out there and I could definitely tell. He did have a good start on a mountain man beard and he said he’s thinking about keeping the stache through the end of the week. What a dork. I’ll post a picture for you later, per his permission, of course.
Hanging up was so tough because we had so much to talk about – but I had to get to work and he really needed to get some sleep since he has more training in the morning. Since it is the weekend and I don’t have to go in to the office, I’m going to arrange my schedule to fit his so that we can Skype/say hello when he has the time. I’m sure I can make time for him in my busy schedule…heh, heh…what schedule?
I got into the office this morning and started making the final tweeks to my presentation and going through it beginning to end in my head. I wasn’t really nervous, but I just wanted to make sure I looked like I know what I was talking about. 😉
To give you a better understanding of my research, check out this article EADS-IW (European Aeronautics Defence and Space Co. – Innovation Works) published about my project and the collaboration with State. It should give you a general overview of what I do and why I’m doing it.
I gave my presentation today. There were about 25-30 people in the room, most of them professors/head hanchos from the department, and only 2 or 3 undergraduate students. NBD. (!!)
As I was sitting there waiting for the seminar to begin, I looked around the room and noticed that I was a wee bit out-numbered. All men.
I leaned over to my friend Vinod…
me: Where are all the women in your department?
Vinod: (laughs) You are the first! It is just you!
Actually, my presentation went really well. I had several professors ask questions – which pleased me because that means they were able to follow along and understand my research the way I presented it to them. As Borat would say, “Great success.”
It’s really odd, being in a place where English is the native language, but it is spoken so differently. Say your first language is German and you are speaking English. You struggle to find the right words, and a lot of times you will say, “How do you say…” when trying to explain something in English. I found myself having to do the same thing, even though we both speak the “same” language. During my presentation, one of the professors interrupted me.
Prof: Pardon me, what do you mean when you say “slide?”
me: I…uh – I’m sorry? You mean…when I’m referring to the slides in the presentation?
Another Prof: Dan, she means a foil!
me: A foil?
Prof: Oh, a foil! Right, then. Do carry on, please. I’m terribly sorry.
A foil? Whodathunk. Kind of makes me laugh though. I’m rambling on about the volume of fluid method and you understand that alright, but you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say, “and on this slide…” Heh.
Here are some pictures from all the new friends I’ve made during my visit.