Monday, March 1, 2010

Heading north

I am leaving today for a scientific meeting in Woods Hole, MA.  This will be my last major "away game" before retirement in three months.  I will miss seeing these colleagues that come from around the US.  I've been an integral part of this group since 1992.  It has been a good group in that we could argue vehemently about approaches and concepts and then later get together and have a beer and be colleagial.

I'm not sure what the weather is going to be, other than perhaps some snow.  I've been to Woods Hole many times over my career.  In graduate school, I went there to go to sea on the old Albatross IV.  It was early March, and the weather in the Gulf of Maine was miserable.  We had such heavy seas that we eventually put into port for a couple of days.  There was ice on the deck and sleet was the norm for every six hour watch. 

I remember sitting in the Marine Biology Lab and having to wear a coat and wool cap because the Director kept the heat off to save electricity.  I was trying to write and take notes from some of the journals that I needed for my dissertation.  It was about 40 degrees F in the library!

At the time, I was a lowly graduate student, but I met some of the greats there.  Most of those scholars are no longer alive.  Later, the same Director who kept the heat down became a close colleague as we both worked together to get a fledgling society off the ground. He was the editor for the scientific journal, and I was the President of the Society. 

I enjoy coming back to Woods Hole because it has such a rich history in marine science.  Founded in 1888, the Marine Biological Laboratory is the oldest independent marine laboratory in the Americas.  To date, 53 MBL-affiliated scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize.  I don't know when and if I'll be back, but it won't likely be in an official capacity after this trip.  I'm going to enjoy my time up there and hopefully get to an open AA meeting since there aren't any Al-Anon meetings in town.

I hope to catch up with each of you over the week.  In the meantime, take care.

18 comments:

  1. Have a good one.

    When you mention it being "about 40 degrees in the library" I take it you mean degrees Fahrenheit and that that's cold. Because 40C is about 105F and bakingly warm!! British libraries are way hotter than that in high summer because nothing in Britain is built to withstand even slight extremes of temperature and hence becomes unbearable on hot summer days...

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  2. Syd, have fun on your trip and enjoy your time with everyone.

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  3. Have a wonderful trip Syd, blessings be in your travels!

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  4. What a wonderful opportunity for you. You will have the memory of this Woods Hole meeting to carry with you into retirement. It looks like a beautiful spot to be. Good luck and enjoy.

    PG

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  5. Safe travels friend. Enjoy the connection. After retirement the world inevitably changes and feels a lot like graduation and the loss of acquaintances at that time. It is amazing what happens over time.

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  6. sounds like a wonderful time, enjoy your trip

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  7. I love Cape Cod! But have never been there in the winter.... imagine it is somewhat different.

    Have a great trip. It must be bitter sweet to be doing these "last times".

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  8. Have a good safe trip, Syd.

    Miss you.

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  9. Wonderful, heartfelt post...have a good trip, Syd.

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  10. Awww, so many memories. I have been to Woods Hole...to catch a ferry.Have a great trip ;0)

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  11. Milestones. Last official meeting.
    Enjoy the trip, the meetings and the fellowship.

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  12. Glad there are busy worker bees like you in our world who care about their jobs..Have a great trip Syd.

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  13. Have fun and cherish those memories. I can't believe you are retiring in 3 months!

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  14. I hope that after you retire you still find a way to get to some of these places. I'm thinking some new students could really use your experience and point of view.

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  15. I hope you have a wonderful meeting and time away.

    Blessings, aloha and bon voyage...

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  16. A final opportunity for us to "see" some of your real working life, Syd. We also get to meet some of the Peeps you have known for a long time.

    Mat your last official trip up there not be laced with sadness.

    Take care!

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  17. I remember when I was a kid, one of professions I wanted to "grow up to be" was a marine biologist. What the hell ever happened to that idea? lol

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Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.