Saturday, July 25, 2009

In Which Our Hero Travels to Ohio

Sunday of this week my co-worker, Maria, and I boarded a plane for a conference called STAFF (for annual fund people in higher ed). The conference was held at Denison University in Granville, Ohio outside Columbus.

The first thing to know about going to Ohio is that it is impossible to get a direct flight. Maria and I had to fly from Bradley in Windsor Locks to Baltimore/Washington International and then into the Columbus airport. We did the reverse when coming back east.

Upon our arrival at Denison around 12:30 on Sunday, Maria inquired as to where we could procure some food on campus for lunch. This is when the first surprising thing happened: There was no food on campus during the summer. We had to walk into town. The good news is that town is about as far away from the campus as one's dining hall is from one's dorm at UMass Amherst. Walking into town some deer crossed our path very closely. Throughout the trip we saw many local animal, including more deer and groundhogs. (We also so more animals at the zoo on Monday night.) We got food in town at a small restaurant where our waitress was wearing a prairie dress (with Nike Air sneakers) for no discernible reason. After lunch we walked around town - this took about five minutes since the town was actually just a block with a couple or restaurants and a place that sold frozen custard. When STAFF was registering people to come to the conference in the winter, they attempted to entice us with this frozen custard. This was a sign that there is little to do in the area of Granville, Ohio. Sunday evening was passed with a much enjoyable reception and keynote address followed by a dessert of the much touted frozen custard (which was like ice cream made firmer with eggs) - tasty.

Monday was a jam-packed with sessions and networking. In the evening, we got bussed to the Columbus Zoo. Zoos in general make me sad because I never feel the animals have enough space. At the same time, I do like seeing the interesting creatures. A visit to the zoo is a very conflicted experience. Here are some of the animals I saw.

There was also a rainbow in the sky as I departed the zoo.

Tuesday was a short day at the conference and basically spent getting back to the North East (where you can get food on college campuses during the summer and where waitstaff doesn't wear such odd clothing and where there is more than a block of town). The return flights went as well as the outgoing ones, apart from some slight turbulence flying into Bradley due to rain.

The conference was a wonderful professional development experience in which I got to do a lot of great networking, visit a new state, and eat famous frozen custard.

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