Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer in Boston - Week Ten

My last week in Boston has been a mixture of absolute chaos and sad goodbyes. It is quite amazing how close the members of the program have become this summer, even over such a short time as ten weeks. And just how does one say goodbye to a city she does not want to leave? Boston is just the right size: enough to do, yet not intimidating…great restaurants, enough green, fabulous shopping, and most of all, great schools and research.

Speaking of, I have now finished my final paper and the bones of a paper to be sent for publication. I also had a final meeting with the boss and the "father" of nitric oxide…definitely a way to end the summer with a bang. I felt so small and inexperienced: it wasn’t necessarily a bad feeling, but just a reminder that I have so much to learn.

The program also took us out for a fabulous dinner on Thursday at East Coast Grill in Inman Square: I was full halfway through the appetizers! I ended up ordering the seared mahi-mahi, and it did not disappoint. The key lime pie was also top notch, although I really like my grandmother’s frozen version better. It was a great sendoff, and it was a bittersweet last walk to the frat house for all of us together as a group. We decided that we would have a BE-REU reunion in Puerto Rico this spring break (one of the program members is from San José). She has an apartment less than five minutes from the beach, and I daresay she’d find someplace to put all of us…sound okay, Mom?

So…while writing this last letter, I’m sitting in the airport terminal in Logan, where there is an absolute flurry of activity. Everyone is worried about being late, or delayed, or is angry about baggage or the cranky drill seargent trying to organize the melee into some semblance of order. I remember my childhood days visiting the airport: it was such a fun adventure to ride in a plane, and a delay meant not annoyance but more time to watch the planes come in (plus a sundae at McDonalds…a real treat!) Now, airports are still a place for people-watching, yet instead of witnessing happy reunions and excited travelers, the vast majority of scenes are of annoyed businessmen, harried families, and confused tourists. When did flying begin to entail such heartache? There is genocide in Darfur, but who cares about that when my plane is delayed for an hour?

On a lighter note, it surprises me that in a town that receives 25% of grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health has no one smart enough to design better and more efficient ticketing, baggage claim and boarding systems.

Heading home to Minnesota is always a lovely experience: my mom’s meatloaf, sleeping in the Lego trophy room, Chinese food from Fortune House, the St. Paul skyline, going out into my backyard to play kubb…not to be exceedingly cliché, but there is no place like home. A friend that recently studied abroad lamented leaving his time overseas behind, but upon our joint commiseration about leaving a place we loved, we decided that the Twin Cities are a place that is forever in our hearts, but just for different ways. And hey – I’ll be home in time for the State Fair, something about as Minnesotan as you can get (yes we carve our Queen in butter…got a problem with that?). Fitting, I suppose.

Some housekeeping: I will be taking the GRE August 22 (next Wednesday), and then packing for my return to Illinois on Friday. If you are interested in catching up, give me a call or email me, and I’m sure we can get something worked out. Also, I don’t know if all of you know, but I will be living off-campus this upcoming year in a house with four other girls about a block from IWU. The address is as follows:

Bridget ---
1305 North Roosevelt Street
Bloomington, IL 61701

I hope you have all enjoyed my updates this year, and I have no doubts that we will see each other some time in the near future. Have a great rest of the summer and a pleasant start to your fall!

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