Consider this post bulletless random bullets: with the photo, the bullets look bizarre. With the travel, the thinking lends itself to bullets. So, random paragraphs.
We're home, cleaning the sand out of the suitcases and sorting out the latest shells in our collection.
I'm leaving a suitcase out so I can pack again for what jo(e) not-so-euphemistically calls Four Seas: Timna is going, and so am I. Any other readers going to be in New York next week? Last year, several of us met for a Friday breakfast. Let me know if you'll be in town and we'll see what we can work out for a meet-up.
I love the ocean. Curious Girl claims to prefer the pool, it being warmer, but I saw that special smile she had in the water. We made sand castles (well, mostly Politica and CG made sand castles), we watched big kids, we collected shells, we watched the waves. It was wonderful. The beach really is the center of my childhood memories, and while my New York ocean is not nearly so turquoise, the waves, the birds, the salt feel so deeply familiar. It's funny that, having been in the midwest US or Ontario for 20+ years now, I don't react to this landscape as familiar. It hasn't imprinted the way my childhood geography did. I know where I live; I can navigate here well. But I don't feel connected to the space. It felt good to be back on a beach, even if it's not "my" beach.
I detest strangers who express their appreciation for the cuteness of my child by asking her if she wants to go home with them, or if she would like to come live with them. This is not a happy-making question for any child with an imagination. We met several such people during our trip.
Curious Girl continues to be the world's greatest traveler. Every trip, I pack one or two fewer things to amuse her on the plane, and every trip, we don't go through all of it. She makes her own games (like playing tattoo parlor with the leftover fabric on the seatbelt), and is great company. Politica is also great traveling company, but as she gets airsick, is less reliable a conversation partner on a plane. Still, we're a great traveling unit. I love exploring with my family.
My department's job searches are still not over. We are in the midst of extending offers, which is fun and exciting and stressful all at once. I am learning a lot about negotiating, and wondering why it is this far into my career that I am having to learn all this. Learning how to advocate for yourself is a pretty darn useful skill, and one that mentoring can promote. Note to self: think about this issue when mentoring new faculty.
I am feeling grumpy about another trip coming up, but I know that once I get to New York I will love it.
I am happy to be home.