Friday, May 29, 2009

San Diego

I had a week-long meeting in San Diego. I'd never been to the city before, so it was really fun to spend some time seeing new areas. I also had the chance to hang out with my friend, Alan, who I hadn't seen in over a year. We went to Fashion Valley (I think that's what it's called...) for a bit and then to Balboa Park, before grabbing Mexican food near his place in La Mesa.

I stayed in the Hyatt downtown, which had a great view, and was walking distance to the Seaside Village and the Gas Lamp District, which was really fun.

On Friday, I had some time to drive around, and saw Coronado Beach (where I got quite sunburnt on my walk) and hotel Del. I drove down Silver Strand beach, and looking at the map, I now realize I must have been about 5 miles from Mexico.

I went for a drive along Sunset Cliffs Blvd, then headed to Cabrillo National Monument. I drove briefly along Mission Bay to Pacific Beach, before heading back to the city for a short walk and dinner in Old Town.


I graduated! There was an Elliott School Graduation, an International Science and Technology Policy reception, another reception with friends on Friday. Then there was a large all-school George Washington University Graduation Ceremony on the national mall, which was pretty cool. And now for some pics...

Thursday, May 14, 2009


From May 4-8, I had a meeting in Boston for Raytheon. I love Boston, and lots of my college friends still live there, so it was really fun to visit.

I met up with Jackie and Sunita and had dinner at Fajitas and Ritas (fun Mexican restaurant near Downtown Crossing). It was great to hear about their plans and where they're headed next year. Jackie and Sunita were freshmen when I was a senior. (In fact, I was their councilor in the Freshmen Arts Pre-Orientation Program!) Jackie's doing a year of service with the Ba'hai church in Arizona, and then is off to study Astrophysics at CalTech (Yay, Space!), and Sunita is headed to France for a Masters Program in Chemistry.

After dinner, I headed to Kenmore to meet up with a group of friends that made up most of the people I met and hung out with during my Freshman year. Martin was back in town interviewing for a faculty position. Aneal is back in town, studying at Harvard Business School (HBS), and Matt Herman is off to HBS next year. Camilo, Aaron Bell, Dave Simmons, and Carvey are still working and living near Boston. It was really fun to see that group of people - it's been a long time since I've seen some of them.

On Tuesday, I had the chance to visit Craig and Patrick and finally see their new house since it's been finished. (I visited last September, but they were still painting and doing some work.) The house is beautiful, and they have a really cool front room with a built-in bar. We cooked dinner (really they cooked...) and then hung out watching TV in the living room. It was definitely a flash-back to when Craig and I lived in the same house and used to hang out and watch TV almost every evening.

Wednesday I went with co-workers to see a Red Sox game at Fenway, which is always a blast. We walked all around the stadium to check out the different views and generally had a good time. (Though the Sox lost, sadly.)

After that, I headed to Sel De La Terre, where my friend Chris is a Soux Chef. Chris and I have gone to school together since we were about six years old (first grade). He moved to Boston during one of the last years that I lived here. It was dollar oysters night, so I had the chance to try the first oysters I've ever had. (Very Good!) We chatted about what we're up to, how our siblings are doing, etc. He told me a ton about being a chef, planning menus, ordering food, and all these really cool restaurant things that I realized I know nothing about. We stayed until after closing just chatting at the bar.

On Thursday night, I met up with Jess and Sam for dinner at The Other Side Cafe. I've meant to eat there a few times, but never actually went, and it turned out that I loved it. Jess and Sam are both doing well - working their way through advanced degrees - Sam at Harvard and Jess at Tufts.

After dinner, I met up for a drink with Aaron Bell and Matt Carvey at 28 Degrees in South Boston. I'd never been there before, but it was a pretty cool place - trendy with tasty (but expensive) cocktails.

Then it was off to the midnight showing of Star Trek at the IMAX in Reading. Yep... still pretty nerdy. I was really excited, though I didn't have very high hopes of the movie being amazing - it's hard to live up to everything that's already been made. I looooved the movie, though. I was smiling all the way through. They did a good job of making the characters new and interesting, but still keeping enough of the manerisms (and catch phrases) to satisfy the fans. Lots of action, fun story-line. Definitely worth seeing, even if you aren't a big Trek fan.

Actually, I had mentioned that I was going to the midnight showing of Star Trek to Jess and Sam, who then asked if I was a big Trekkie. No, I said. Well, I mean, I have seen every episode of TNG (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Voyager, and most of TOS (the original series), but not that much of DS9 (Deep Space Nine). It's not like I own a Star Trek uniform or anything (though I do have a phaser in a closet somewhere...). Hmm, maybe "no" wasn't a very accurate answer. We prefer the term "Trekkers."

School Work = Over

I haven't written in quite a while, so I thought I'd do a quick catch-up on what's going on. In the last part of April until early May, I was basically focused on finishing up the last few school assignments for my Masters Degree.

I did a paper and a presentation on space agencies in developing countries and contributions to capacity building and economic growth for my capstone class. (I'm actually really interested in this topic, and hoping to look into it further and then present it at a conference next fall in South Korea - the abstract was already accepted!)

I turned in a final paper on Remote Sensing for Disease Prediction and Prevention in Nigeria - also a space and development focused paper, which was fun to do, though it's very difficult to get good data on space capabilities in Nigeria. (They do have a space agency, though.)

I finished the Space Scenario that was playing out in the Space Policy course, and I think Russia/EU (my group) ended up doing pretty well.

All in all, it was a fun final semester of the masters, and I learned a lot.