I do love my ma and pa
Moats and boats and waterfalls
Alley-ways and pay phone calls...
Home is wherever I'm with you"
- "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Well, I guess you could say I'm almost home. To be honest, I probably misuse the word "home" on a regular basis, because I refer to a lot of places by that name. I blame my parents. When I was a kid, we would take multi-week roadtrips every summer in my mom's minivan. By the time I graduated high school, I had seen all the continental 48 states, plus one Canadian province, and whenever we were on the road, we would refer to our hotel as home. We'd get to the end of a long and wonderful sight-seeing day, and we'd look at each other and say "Let's go home" - to the hotel, of course. My mom always loves to say that home is where your family is.
|It's a modern tradition for Oregon residents to photograph their|
feet on the carpet at Portland Airport to show they've arrived
home. Here are mine!
Home is wherever I am. Home is wherever there are people that care about me. Home is wherever I have exciting work to do and a place to lay my head. For now, home is Oregon, and I'm actually glad to be back.
My last few days in San Diego were great. Most of the other scientists from the cruise left town before Andrew and I did, so we got to relax and hang out together. San Diego is a really neat city - not too big, very diverse, with plenty of sun and fun things to do. We went out for dinner. We sat by the pool. We saw a movie and heard some really good jazz music. We talked about science, about project ideas, about what questions to pursue next.
Andrew has had a permanent effect on the course of my career; of that I am certain. Working with him has forever changed the way I think, the way I write, the way I work. He's always encouraging me to slow down and take everything in stride, to pick away at large projects by just doing a little bit each day. He encourages me to explore new ideas and connect concepts that nobody ever has before, to read anything and everything that interests me. Andrew is ambitious, but he's also a fantastic human being. It means the world to know that he trusts me and genuinely cares about my success. One of his greatest pieces of advice was actually to build my own career, pursue my own ideas, and choose my collaborators wisely, so I don't get lost in anyone else's shadow. That man has earned my deepest level of respect.
Of course I'll still be in contact with Andrew. We still have a few datasets to write up together, and I'll collect more data this summer. I'm in charge of two experiments off the Oregon coast, so I'll keep you updated as those projects take shape. Science rocks. Life is good. And I'm almost home.