I don't even really know where to begin. It was such a great week, but overwhelming in so many ways. Good ways, mostly, but as I figured, information overload was an issue. What I didn't bank on, though, was how the schedule itself and the constant presence of other people (even great ones) was exhausting. So exhausting, in fact, that I'm still recovering two days later. Yesterday I was in a fog all day at work. Last night I was exhausted by 8pm and sort-of-accidentally went to bed before 9:30. I woke up briefly after midnight to brush my teeth and take off jewelry, and then stayed in bed until 8am. After that I took a few more turns in bed dozing until finally showering sometime before noon. We had Jacob's baseball end-of-season party today and we have another picnic tomorrow, so there isn't much rest for the weary...but I'm getting there.
I left things off last week as I was coming down with a cold. Luckily, it appears that the zinc and vitamin C I took did their job, and by the time I left on Sunday morning, I was feeling pretty good. I frantically packed on Saturday so I'd be ready to leave first thing in the morning, but in the end I had a hard time waking up and just got out the door before 7am. The drive was actually pretty pleasant. I got a little antsy by the time I actually got there, but for the most part it was fine. The first half was pretty easy as it was all the Thruway, and the second half was a bit slower but more scenic as I went through the Green Mountains and a bunch of little ski towns. If I could have stopped at every one I would have! My first stop was at a little store just before the NY-VT border. It was called the Big Moose Deli and Country Store, so how could I not stop?
|They had a bunch of overpriced stuffed moose and lots of Vermont specialties, but the main attraction for me was a bathroom (in the form of a port-a-potty, unfortunately!)...but it was a nice diversion.|
|It's called "The American Spirit", and apparently stands for "Faith, Charity, and Hope", in that order, I assume. The girl and boy are both naked, and the placement is so awkward.|
We started our first session in the afternoon and had a nice easy start--one group session and then a session with our smaller group, composed of people from similar institutions. A handful of folks from that group turned out to be my best friends at the conference, not surprisingly. After that we had a campus tour, and then we had our first fun event, a clambake! One of my new experiences while there was eating this guy...
|Hello, Mr. Lobster! I don't often eat food with eyes, but he was worth it! The head went away quickly, though! There is also a roll, some chicken, a salad, and corn on that plate. Yum.|
Here's a picture of my dorm, McLane. I wasn't sure if this was an older building that had been completely redone, since it matched the campus style so well (right down to the clips holding the shutters back), but it turns out it opened in 2006. It was connected to another building, as well.
|My room was on the top floor, possibly 3rd or 4th from the left.|
|This is one end of my room...bed, dresser, desk, and nightstand/bookshelf. The other direction just had a closet and the door. It was small but well lit and just fine for the little bit of time I spent there.|
|We never went in the Collis Center, but the front porch on it was so lovely.|
|A daytime view of the library...and that tower was the easiest way to know which way to go on campus!|
|The Hopkins Center for the Arts is across the street from the campus, and next to the Hanover Inn, where we had some sessions. I guess it was designed by the same guy who did the Lincoln Center in NYC.|
|The Tuck School of Business was in the same part of campus where we spent our group sessions. Love the columns.|
|This is the view walking from the large group sessions back toward the center of campus. My dorm is to the left and the library is up ahead (though this is from a different side than my previous shots).|
|Carpenter Hall was adjacent to the library and built in 1929, according to the date above the doors. This was on the way to where my small group sessions were.|
|Dr. Seuss was a famous alum, and the School of Medicine is named with his real last name. Funny.|
|The pretty church on campus. There was a very old but more modern looking chapel right down the road, too.|
|Dartmouth Hall is the oldest building on campus, though it has burned down twice. The foundation is intact, so I guess that counts. Very stately, though!|
After the clambake the first night, there was a barbeque across from my dorm the second night. They also had a major dance party (and I swear 75% of the people there were on the dance floor!), and that was the only time I drank, despite alcohol being accessible every night. I felt fine at the time, but I woke up the next morning feeling rather dehydrated and tired, so I swore to myself to stick to water for the rest of the time. I only drank that night to make myself be social, as I was afraid of falling back on my introverted tendencies, and it was important to mingle and make connections. The next night there was a (very wet) reception put on by Dartmouth, and then I went to dinner in town with a few people I'd made friends with the previous couple days. It was such a fun evening, but I had to head back early to get some sleep. One nice guy in the group walked me back to the dorm, and then he walked back to make his karaoke slot!
The final night we got out pretty early, and my little group was going down to the boathouse along the Connecticut River. The guys rented kayaks and each of us girls got a stand-up paddleboard. It's basically like standing on a large surfboard and using a long paddle to move through the water. I'd never done it before and was a little worried about totally sucking at it, but in the end it was really fun! We went quite a ways down the river and then had to paddle back against the current. It wasn't easy, but I really liked it! I can't imagine doing it anywhere with waves, but I would certainly do it again!
|Looking down the river...very pretty!|
As a whole, I really enjoyed the people I met. They were so all so different but equally fun and interesting. Heck, three of the people I chatted with a lot were over 60! One was a data guy, so we had that in common. The other two were older ladies, one of whom I met on the way to breakfast the first morning, as she wasn't sure where the dining hall was. We met up with her friend there, and I ended up eating breakfast with them each morning. They were very interesting and so nice! I ended up making a couple Facebook-worthy friends (including a mom of a six-month-old who left a little early because her baby was having a tough time), and a handful of LinkedIn-level connections. I really appreciated the chance to get to know some wonderful people in the same industry.
Let's see....what else...well, here's a picture of the view from my room...
|Hard to see, but to the right of that building is a cemetery. A little strange, but clearly it's very old.|
|It was the most modern looking building on campus, and this area was very pleasant to spend a break in. The church is to the left and the back (also modern-looking) end of the library complex is to the right.|
|On the right is a parking meter, and on the left is a dog struggling against an invisible leash. Cute.|
I will do another post soon about a few other random thoughts and the state things at home. This is enough for one post, I think. My bed is calling me...again.