Wednesday, September 14, 2016

After Defeat

A bit lighter after the last post: After the robot competition my parents, in-laws, and my wife and I went to the New England Aquarium in Boston. It is quite an interesting building and just amazing how many different tanks they had. By the time we finished just before lunch the crowds of families pushing strollers was so pervasive that it was tough to move freely through the building. Still enjoyable.

We went back for a social for the teams, West Virginia was the only team to make any money out of the competition. I certainly envy them a bit, however, it is a large team (40+?) and most of the 750k is probably going to pay expenses and supplement a scholarship fund. They also had a bit of continuity having won 100k last year.

After the lunch the next day with Administrator Charles Bolden from NASA giving a speech, Jessie and I drove to Ithaca, NY. My In-laws also came with. Not too long of a drive from Worcester, but after a late lunch we arrived after dark. First impressions of the town it definitely seems like a nice town, but what I am really excited for is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its office.

We toured the office the next day, went on a walk around the pond, met a bunch of people, and saw where my desk is going to be. I was excited before the tour, I have always been a fan of the Lab, but I am much more excited about it now. Having my own desk with a window overlooking the pond, a much shorter commute for a while, people that might actually know how to drive in snow, and on and on…

Also when we mentioned Jessie’s Bachelor's senior thesis research to our guide and he followed up by talking to the Bio-acoustics Lab people and they are interested in talking to her! Even if she initially volunteers it will be nice to have her working across the hall rather than across the country.

So I can say that we are excited for the move, there are only three things that are varying levels of drawback to this move. The first and biggest drawback is that we have made friends in the area that actually think to invite us to do things. We had friends in Hawaii, but it seemed that they had mostly different interests, or just didn’t think about inviting us. So it will be difficult to make friends again, hopefully as nice too, right?

The second is just the process of moving, although we will be able to take much more with us initially because we don’t need to ship it across an ocean. More convenient if still just annoying how many things we have to deal with.

The third thing is about the Center for Open Science. Even though I am leaving I still want to see it succeed. Though I won’t miss the wash of panicked projects and the shifts in priorities that leave me wondering if I am actually contributing, it will be bittersweet. I plan to become an Ambassador and look into current processes with my new job to see if any part could use the OSF as it stands.

All in all bittersweet, but we, Jessie and I, are more mature, know most of what needs done, and are really excited. I'll
write about the new job in much more detail after I start.

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