A lovely place called La Porte

Good morning world,

I don’t waste anytime getting into the swing of things. I’m on an overnight retreat for my research program. Basically, I’m a civil engineering PhD student but my research program is housed in the Institute of Transportation Studies. In a nutshell, I’m never actually in the civil engineering building, I’m in this ITS building that’s about a mile west of campus.

So La Porte, California is a town with a population of 26. This retreat has more than doubled the number of people in this town. After the 2+ hour drive to La Porte, I got out of the car and smelled New England, which I know is impossible but it smells like a nice fall morning in Amherst here. About 5 minutes after we got out of the car, we went into the hotel and walked in late to the first meeting. Whoops.

Anyways, I started thinking about this post last night as I was biking to Nugget. I wanted to link up a Google+ photo album and basically do a huge photo dump of all my pictures from this summer. Unfortunately, I’m on my phone because I left my backpack in the car. I think it’s safe to say that summer is officially over and I want to share the photos I’ve taken.

I wrote a few months ago that I wish I took more photos and I followed through and did just that. Although, the photos are on my phone and only I can look at them so I’ll change that. I feel like I just said the same thing 3 different ways. It happens.

The leaves in La Porte have begun to change colors which I think is uncharacteristic for California. I want to go outside, tap a tree and get some maple syrup. I don’t care that I typically don’t eat maple syrup and I also don’t care that I probably can’t get maple syrup from the trees here. I know what I want and I go for it. Maybe not on this though- just because it’s likely not possible.

My last note on La Porte and the retreat: I just did a quick head count, of the 37 people here, 9 are women… a little less than 25%. I’m not sure if I’m thrilled with this. I think that in a research group like this which pulls people from environmental science, engineering, ttp, ecology, etc. There should be more women.

On our car ride up, we got into a discussion about women changing their last names when they get married. We were a car of three women and one man so it’s interesting. Two of the girls said that if their partner was ok with it, they would make a mashup up of the two last names. I don’t know if I’d change my last name. I think for research since I’m publishing under my current last name, I wouldn’t want to change it and risk losing my connections with my earlier papers. I’m thinking that I’d probably hyphenate it or perhaps change my last name altogether and just publish using my maiden name… I’m sure I’m not the only one with these concerns maybe someone can comment with their ideas and thoughts on the subject.

Fyi, the guy was silent during that conversation.

Until later.

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