Okay, so, I didn’t get to get any actual data collected, but I left NSI and Children’s with quite the arsenal of knowledge. Luckily, I also left with the promise of return! If all goes well, I will come back for three weeks in the winter to do some hardcore data collection, and perhaps the opportunity to train someone to continue collecting data when I leave.
My departure was pretty bad. First of all, who wants to leave San Diego? I may have experienced some earthquakes and awful traffic, but between the beaches and the commitment to organic food and the weather and the nice people, it was difficult to get on that airplane. My flight was delayed by fifty minutes, which afforded me more time to stare fondly out the airport window onto the marina and San Diego Bay. It also gave me more time to reminisce about all of those days in the middle of July when San Diego’s temperature was 30 to 40 degrees cooler than New Jersey.
Funnily enough, the flight delay was due to thunderstorms on the East Coast. Thunderstorms? Um, what? The closest thing I got to rain all summer was a drizzle-y mist a few mornings and that one two second downpour I missed because I ran into CVS for a quick errand. As the plane was descending into Newark, I saw lightning through the clouds! Warning from the pilot decreased my alarm, but I’m pretty sure that lightning was the first to ever grace the eyes of the San Diegan sitting next to me. Poor guy — I talked his ear off about the horrors of humidity for 60% of the flight, most likely ruining his East Coast visit before he even stepped off the aircraft.
More significantly, I am going to miss the people who defined my San Diego life. My people. I met some great folks at concerts, restaurants, farmer’s markets, and the like, but my host family and my bosses are such special people who I will miss seeing every day.
The Smiths were so welcoming and caring. Jay (’73) and I had quite a few interesting conversations about Haverford, art, music, and architecture. He could talk about pretty much anything, like a true Haverford alum. Penny took me in with such grace and open arms, making sure that I was comfortable and happy for the duration of my stay. She was primarily a friend, always a good listener, and, when necessary, a mom. I could never, ever express how much I appreciate their hospitality, and I am still amazed how well we all got to know one another over the course of just eleven weeks. Penny left me with an assortment of kitchen tools as a farewell gift, all based on our conversations about my preferences and her observations of my habits. I can’t wait to see the two of them again.
Ani and John completely surpassed my expectations in every way. I knew they were smart, and they proved that over and over again, but I didn’t know they would be so humble about it. When I got to NSI on my last day and started to say good-bye to John, his kind words and the thought of leaving made me tear up a bit. After tying up all of my loose ends and said my see-you-laters, Ani drove me to the airport. This ride reminded me of the first time I met Ani and we drove to the hospital to meet Dr. Knight for the first time. My stay was bookended by car rides with Ani – not too shabby.
Dr. Knight and Carol at the hospital were so adept at sharing their knowledge with me. I learned so much from them this summer that I feel like I could hold my own in a group of neonatology residents. Maybe; maybe not. Regardless of my neonatal prowess, I am excited to stay abreast of the literature on all of the topics related to the study so when I return, I will be completely on my game.
For so many reasons, I am excited to return to San Diego, and I imagine that the time will fly with all of the stuff on my plate this semester. So, this blog will stay active, hopefully with occasional posts about any developments in the literature or NSI news. See you back at Haverford.