Vanderbilt trip, &c.

I had an interesting trip to Vanderbilt. We left on Wednesday evening via Southwest airlines, which was a new experience for me. I’m used to assigned seating, rather than the whole A/B/C thing they do. Imagine how much less they have to spend on keeping track of who is seated where. We got to the airport well in advance, but were still given ‘b’ boarding passes. We figured out later that this is because most of the A people use online check-in. We used it on the return trip. Anway, the trip basically consisted of two pretty intense days of research discussion. Both days we had coffee and boxed lunches provided, and basically sat in one room all day.

As the Vanderbilt group we were meeting with does a lot of magenetic work, many of the rooms we saw were Faraday cages, which got to be kind of eerie. Nothing like the comfortable feeling of a metal box for a room. Also, Vandy has basements in all of the buildings, with the numbers starting at 1 for the lowest floor. This was somewhat confusing. I prefer ground to be 1 and basement levels to be reverse order, B1, B2, B3 etc as you descend. Ah well.

Anyway, here’s a link to a picture (because it’s kind of big) of all of us toward the end of the last day. We had one absentee who was added via the magic of photoshop later. Can you figure out who it was?

The trip home was uneventful, except for one minor incident on the plane. On the way out, the person in front of me put her seatback in the full reclining position, cutting into my already seriously deficient personal space. On the way back I was prepared. I put my feet up on my briefcase in such a way as to be able to block the seat from moving back. Sure enough, the only person in the row in front of us who decided to put her seat back was the one in front of me. She seemed very frustrated about the seat not moving as far back as she expected, though she never looked behind her to see what might be preventing it. Score one for me and my (barely) adequate seating room on the way home.