April 28, 2008
April 21, 2008
April 17, 2008
We've been pouring bronze this week in my bronze casting class, and I took some pictures to share with everyone. We've been working with two different types of molds, ceramic shell and investment. Both are heated up and buried in compacted dirt to try and keep them from exploding when the molten bronze is poured. All my pieces haven't been poured yet, but you can check out the pouring we did today on my Picasa site.
The Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society's annual meeting took place on the weekend of April 12th this year. For the new scholars, the weekend began on the afternoon of the 10th. I took a train into the city, and met Elvin Leech (European VP), Lars Kirkegaard (Scandanavian Coordinator), Steve Lindfield (Australasian Scholar) and Eline Feenstra (European Scholar) at our hotel. We quickly grabbed a cab over to Rolex USA were we were greeted by John Flaherty and Randy Greenberg. We were allowed to see our incredible Oyster Perpetual Submariners just long enough to ensure that the fit was perfect.
Mike Emmerman and Pat Stockhausen treated everyone to a very enjoyable performance of The Conscientious Objector on Thursday night. On Friday the new scholars were introduced to the board of directors, and the 2007 scholars submitted their formal reports. Afterwards Steve, Eline and I managed some time to sneak off with Eline's parents to the Whitney and the Frisk Gallery. The Whitney was all right, but we were all quite impressed with the quality of the Frisk's collection.
Friday night my family arrived, and there was an informal dinner courtesy of Ted and Barbara Janulis followed by a short time at the bar. I probably should have held myself back a little more than I did on Friday night, because Saturday morning featured a series of lectures given by the 2007 scholars and interns, guest speakers, and Catalina's own Karl Huggins! The lectures were interesting, but it was a long morning. The highlight of the weekend was the formal awards banquet held at the Explorer's Club. Matt, Igor and Brenna showed their movies (which were incredible), and Steve, Eline and I were presented as the 2008 Rolex Scholars. It was an incredible evening, topped off with a great party at the Black Sheep. The weekend closed with a great brunch at Mike and Pat's house.
The entire weekend was so incredibly packed with introductions, meetings and parties it seems unreal. On the train back to Stony Brook I was feeling a mix of sheer exhaustion and disappointment in knowing that I'm going to have to wait an entire year for the next OW-USS weekend. At least I know it won't be a boring one! Although it was bewildering at times, it was really special to find this astounding family of people, and be welcomed into that family with open arms by every single member. The sense of community and genuine warmth was unbelievable. It's truly a privilege, thank you guys.
April 7, 2008
Normally one would not associate spending a weekend in Secaucus, NJ as something to be excited about, but this was a definite exception. On Friday, March 28th (Yes, sorry this post is about 2 weeks late) I drove out to the Meadowlands Exposition center to meet up with my scholarship coordinator Robin Parish and the 2007 North American Rolex scholar, Brenna Mahoney at the 2008 Beneath The Sea dive show.
It was an amazing and insane introduction to the world of diving. Basically our days were split between working the show floor (huge), meeting hundreds of incredibly famous, interesting and awesome people, black tie dinners and awards banquets, various hotel bars, and trying to grab enough sleep to be able to go out and do it all again the next day. Some of the highlights of the weekend were meeting a personal hero of Brenna's and mine, Dr. Sylvia Earle:
You might not realize it yet, but she's your hero too! She gave an incredible speech at the awards dinner held partially in her honor on Saturday night. We also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Kathy Sullivan:
Besides being the first woman to walk in space, Dr. Sullivan served as chief scientist at NOAA and is now a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
I wish I could put up pictures and write at length about all the awesome people I met that weekend. Getting a feel for and seeing what kind of people that are involved in the scholarship and that I'll hopefully be working with was really encouraging. Although I felt like I kind of knew them already, meeting Brenna and Robin for the first time in person was also great. They've already been such a great help, and it's really comforting to know that they'll be around to help out during the next year. I don't think I could've asked for a better scholarship "mom" and "big sister". The weekend was a blast, and it got me really excited for the upcoming weekend in NYC. I can't wait to meet my fellow scholars, and all the other members of OWUSS that will be there!