31 October 2015

From hike to office

On Friday I was in the field with the students. At 5PM I left the students and went to see my friends. Around 2PM the next Wednesday I said goodbye to my friends, and drove straight to the office. I took off my soaking socks and shoes and got to work. The students had been sending me the data they collected since Saturday, and I had told them to send it in no later than Wednesday, the day I would emerge (dripping) out of the mountains. The next Monday I would have to give them a one hour lecture on using the collated data to produce a scientific report, and I wanted them to have a chance of having a look at the data beforehand, so they could come prepared with questions if needs be. But that meant not losing any time. The office was waiting!

Nobody complained about the fact that I appeared in the office after having only washed in streams and lakes for five days. I got my nose down and started compiling. That did require some mailing up and down as not all the students had presented their data in a way I found unambiguous, but I made good progress. At about 6PM I drove home. Enough collating; now it was time to hang out my wet clothes and tent, and put away my hiking kit! And have a proper shower.

I had to spend the Saturday in the office in order to have done all the plotting I wanted the students to do, to know in advance what issues they would encounter. I could anticipate on that in my lecture. It was a hitting-the-ground-running return to working life but I pulled it off. If that is what it takes to be able to take 4.5 days off to hike with friends then that's well worth it!

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