Monday, March 05, 2007

Wherein I Enjoy A Well-Earned Break, Complete with Planes, Friends, and Yarn

Each year my department brings in PhD students for interviews before final decisions are made. I spearhead much of the planning, and our weekend was recently held. On the day our prospective students were to depart, I began receiving calls at 3 AM with students worried about return travel arrangements. Midwest winters and sudden ice storms give an authentic picture to what weather is like, and I fielded many calls when numerous planes were canceled. After such a busy season at work, I took my first mini-vacation of the year. While I survived our recruitment events and received positive feedback for the time, it was pleasant to take a few days off.

So today Eric and I returned from a short jaunt to the Twin Cities to reconnect with old friends. It's a small wonder we made it out of Chicago Thursday, as most flights were canceled due to the weather (again, typical for a Midwest winter). We ended up getting on an earlier flight after two other attempts were canceled. Apparently one can be listed as 'mishandled' on a standby list, thus given more priority.

The weekend was a relaxing time to laugh with friends and meet one baby born since our departure. As seen in the picture, I made Sheldon the Turtle, Jr. for the event. Sheldon II was given to our hosts, and their seven-month-old baby duly christened the turtle with her drool. My original Sheldon will remain at my desk at work and has become a welcome fixture. However, Sheldon does have a penchant for chocolate and abandoned coffee cups, but fortunately he moves relatively slowly so a savvy professor can fend off his misguided attempts for nourishment.

Another couple is expecting twin boys any day now, which led to a pair of crocheted blankets for their arrival. I had recently learned this stitch and enjoyed the way it developed.

The time traveling also allowed me to finish my first knit pair of socks. I will include a photo once I take one, as I am quite proud of the undertaking. Another pair is already on the needles.

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