I left home a little after midnight last night to make my trip to Lubbock. The weather was beautiful, the roads were so very nice, and I listened to a VERY good book on the way (Lost in Shangri-La, by Michael Zuchoff). The only worry I had on the trip was the fact that there were so many animals out on/near the road. I would have to estimate that I passed 100 deer within the beams of my headlights. I came really close to hitting only one, and passed one large doe that had been hit by another car in front of me. I also saw rabbits, possums, a skunk, and a couple of raccoons. It was quite the wildlife adventure.
I arrived on campus a little early, so made a side trip to Walmart to stock up on some items. After settling in, I took a nice, hot shower and then a short (1.5 hours) nap. By early afternoon my dorm mates arrived and we spent the rest of the day getting caught up on each other's news, on friends and acquaintances in common, and on some laughter that we've been missing out on for so long now.
I have a tough two weeks ahead, but believe that it will also be a good time in a lot of ways. First, it's good in that I'm getting some much needed "grounding" from the other program participants and instructors. Second, I really enjoyed seeing so much of the state on my journey in, and expect to see even more of it on my journey home. Third, I will be getting some really good feedback on my research topics. And fourth, I fully expect to finalise my committee selection while I am here.
May Seminar is going to be a lot of fun this year!