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8 August, 2000

Life-long learning and a love of teaching

Hanover, NH, 5 p.m., EST

**** Day's events

(1) breakfast and presentation by John Wrenn

(2) cultural cautions, North and South

(3) TEA responsibilities

(4) lunch with Martin Jeffries & researcher expectations

breakfast with John Wrenn

This morning, I spent some time talking with John Wrenn, an Antarctic researcher based out of LSU; John has been extremely generous with his time and expertise... John is concluding some amazing research at Cape Roberts and has discovered a series of fascinating things during his project there. In his presentation to the group today, he discussed cultural cautions.

To summarize, when traveling to a foreign place, behave respectfully.

TEA responsibilities

Sometimes, I overcommit. Luckily, it always works out in the end. :-) I am thrilled at the opportunity to conduct research in the Arctic and to share that information with others, so I begin to build mental pictures of what my research will be like: Tim Conner's archeological dig? Hillary Tulley's dry valley experience? Joanna Hubbard's scuba diving? Betty Trummel's core sampling? Cathi Koehler's atmospheric research? And, almost as soon as the image is constructed, it collapses like so many cards. Flexibility... flexibility... flexibility...

lunch with Martin Jeffries

During lunch today, Martin Jeffries joined a small group of TEAs enjoying the respite from yesterday's rain. Martin is a researcher from University of Alaska Fairbanks who has been with us since Sunday night. Very active in the TEA program, Martin shared with us his reasons for hosting TEAs, i.e., why would scientists allocate a berth on their project for a teacher instead of a trained scientist? The answer was remarkably human: he wants to share the information gathered by his team and others to find a wider audience than the sometimes seemingly insurmountable walls of the academic ivory tower.

**** Other thoughts and impressions

It has been a day to remind myself that many (most? all?) of the people here are kindred spirits: passionate people with a zest for life.

Martin and Jeff opened up to us and shed light on the researchers' expectations... A powerful reminder that they're human too :-)

Over drinks and coffee tonight, Jason (Antarctica bound), Jen (also Antarctica bound), Dena G. (Arctic bound) and I had a wonderful conversation about a passion for teaching and learning and building relationships with students, adventures, love lost and found, and other common craziness.


P.S. I also enjoyed an extremely pleasant evening meal and conversation with my mother (in the area, via Utah) and grandmother... Predictably, our discussion (my monologue with occasional questions) centered around TEA :-)

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