One Last Trip

September 29th, 2009, 11:11 pm PDT by Greg

We are prepping for our final bit of travel in a travel-filled year. (I can only really travel seriously when on study leave, for reasons that should be obvious.)

Tomorrow night, Kat and I are headed to Brian and Lisa’s wedding. Here’s the plan:

Four hours of lectures; Kat picks me up Daniela kindly picks me up immediately after lecture and we head to collect Kat and go to the airport. Red-eye to JFK in New York.
Get in to NY really early. Try to get to the hotel: hopefully check in and take a nap, at least drop off our luggage. Explore NYC for the day. Goal: limit ourselves to about two things and see them well; don’t run around like crazy people.
Take the train to Poughkeepsie. Get rental car. Dinner at the CIA. [CMPT 165 lecture cancelled.]
There’s a “hike”. Comparing the elevation changes in Poughkeepsie to Vancouver, this can’t be too bad.
Wedded bliss.
Train back to NYC and fly out, getting back to Vancouver super-late. [Anne covering CMPT 165 lecture.]
Back to the grindstone with four hours of lecture.

With any luck there will be enough downtime around the edges to recover from the drag of overnight travel.

More DDP Fun

September 24th, 2009, 4:02 pm PDT by Greg

Partially (but not entirely) because of my my last adventure with the DDP (Chinese Dual Degree) students, I have started to feel a certain affection for the group.

Today there was a welcome reception for the ones that just got here this semester. They were a surprisingly talkative group (considering we were talking in English), and it was nice to have the chance to welcome them.

A common question from me: “What have you done in Vancouver so far?” Most are pretty new and haven’t done much. But one answer stood out:

DDP Girl: “We have gone to UBC, and we went to the beach.”
Me: “Oh, which beach?” (grabs for convenient map of Vancouver)
DDP Girl: “The one *giggle* at UBC.”
Me: “… oh!” [For those not in the know, Wreck Beach is the local clothing-optional beach.]

The implication was that they just saw a sign for “beach” and thought they’d have a look. That’d be quite a shock: five minutes off the plane from China, and being surprised by some fat naked white guy walking down the beach.

So, that was the funniest image I had had in my head for a while.

Then five minutes later:

Different DDP Girl: “Oh, I haven’t done much yet, but I want to go to UBC and the beach.”

You know that feeling when you’re trying not to laugh, but can’t even look like you’re trying not to laugh? I swear pulled a muscle in my face to keep from smiling.

Apparently Wreck Beach is the first stop for DDP students showing up in Vancouver.

I’m back, baby!

September 14th, 2009, 10:12 pm PDT by Greg

I woke up last Tuesday to the cold realization that my study leave was over: there was no choice but to admit that I was back at work. My first lectures were Wednesday: one hour of CMPT 165 and three of CMPT 470.

After the 165 lecture, Diana stuck her head into my office. She hadn’t been teaching in the summer semester, so she was also coming back to teaching. “Did you have your first lecture yet? Were you… excited?” Apparently she was so excited to get back to teaching that she was a little befuddled in her first lecture. This is why I love Diana.

I don’t know that I was particularly excited before my lectures, but now that I’ve done a full week, I’m feeling good about being back.

There’s something about being in front of a lecture room that feels right, especially with 165 and 470. Those courses are really the equivalent of comfort food for me and I think I’m going to have fun this semester.

So, I guess a year of study leave really does help one’s attitude. At least for the first week.

Anybody want a desk?

September 5th, 2009, 9:34 pm PDT by Greg

As a result of watching Hoarders and an ongoing effort to clean up our office (which has never been quite right since we moved in), we have a desk to get rid of:

desk closed desk open

It’s an Ikea corner-unit desk that folds open/closed. It actually holds a fair amount of stuff. It just doesn’t fit right into our office, so it’s time to let it go.

Free, but we have no vehicle to move it, so once it’s down the elevator here, it’s your problem.