Becoming Best Friends

I’ve been back in State College for just over a month now, since late night on the 21st of July. Even though it was good to be home and visit friends and family, I was glad to get back to my life in State College, back to my friends out here.
And even my research I was glad to return to. Yes, even that. Although it was maybe for reasons of deadlines that are approaching. While I was back in Wisconsin, I was notified that I won a scholarship to give a 15-minute talk at a conference in New Orleans on the week preceding Thanksgiving. The conference has a long title: the Defense Threat Reduction Agency – Joint Science Technology Office Chemical & Biological Defense Physical Science & Technology Conference (DTRA-JSTO CBD PS&T Conference). What a mouthful! So we just call it CBD for short.
Anyway, I was, quite frankly, a bit disappointed at the time that I won the scholarship, because I didn’t particularly want to go to the conference, and the only way I’d be sent was if I was awarded a scholarship from the conference organizers. Sigh. It’s mainly because I was (and still am) nervous about whether I’ll get the work I’d promised in the abstract done on time, but I’m pretty sure that’s the first time in my life that I haven’t been happy that I won a scholarship. Kind of a weird feeling.
At any rate, the 3-pg manuscript on what we’re presenting is due 5 September, which is fast approaching (the due date was moved back from 15 August, thankfully), especially since I don’t yet have any of the research done. I’ve been delayed and delayed and delayed with various problems in trying to get WRF (the Weather Research & Forecasting model) working on the cluster at ARL, more or less by myself. It’s been pretty frustrating that I’ve continually been met with hurdle after hurdle and problem after problem, because with each new problem that crops up, it costs me time to try to get something done before the manuscript is due. But even if I don’t have everything done by the time I write the manuscript (and I won’t), in reality I’ll basically have until late October to get done with everything, as our powerpoint slides are due on 28 October, a full three weeks before the start of the conference. So until then, research is definitely gonna be keeping me very, very busy. I’m sure when it comes to November that I’ll be very glad that I won the scholarship to spend a week in New Orleans (especially if Daniel & Katie are able to come down from Shreveport one evening for a visit!), but right now I’m just nervous about being able to get everything done on time.
Earlier this month I also submitted an abstract for the Atmospheric Chemistry Conference at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (we just call it AMS), which will be held in mid-January in Phoenix. If my abstract gets accepted there, I’ll give a pretty similar talk to what I’ll give at CBD. I really hope I can go to AMS though, because I have family down there in Phoenix, and it’d be cool to see all them again.
20080724-DavidAlexJared-MegachessBut I’ve been far more glad to get back to all my friends here in State College, both from PSCG and from meteo. For the first three weeks after I got back to PA though, I hung out a ton with Alex. From introducing him & David to the fun that is Megachess, to a Spikes game and bowling on Caren’s birthday weekend visit, to church softball games, to team trivia at G-Man, 20080801-AlexKent-RockStarsto playing some Wii at Tracy & Amanda’s, to Bible study and church, to taking Alex to Otto’s for his birthday, to going to Pittsburgh for an evening session at a conference (more on that later, in a different post maybe), to watching some Olympics, to going around town putting up posters for “Elijah” together (and introducing him to Waffle Shop!), to driving to Altoona to get Mexican food at El Campesino, 20080804-AlexJared-BirthdayAtOttosto plenty of late-night hanging out and a whole bunch more, we really had a lot of fun spending time with each other getting to know each other. We also spent quite a bit of time at the church playing music together, taking turns on the piano, playing both praise songs (teaching each other some new songs) and secular songs. That was so fun to jam out with him, he’s such a fantastic musician! 20080808-JaredAlexAmandaBobJonKentWalterJeffAnd that was in addition to serving together on the music team at church on the first two weekends in August (one of which I led, but Alex had a good deal of input on the songs I chose), which was great. After we got back from getting Mexican food in Altoona with Isaac, Dan & Neal from PSCG, I helped Alex get all moved out of his apartment that he sub-let for the summer, 20080810-Alex-Pianoand I even took some stuff off his hands that he had to get rid of (the people he sub-let from left much of their stuff and told him to throw or give it all away), including a pretty nice couch & recliner, plus a few other random things. Then the next morning, on Wednesday the 13th, I drove him to the airport, so that he could fly back home to Minnesota and then drive to Valparaiso for his senior year. I sure hope he gets admitted to Penn State Meteorology for grad school next year, that’d be so awesome! But since he lives in Minnesota, I’ll at least see him over Christmas break (and I’ll probably drive back for Christmas too, and pick him up along the way since Valpo’s halfway between PSU and the Twin Cities! :-).
20080810-JaredAlex-ChurchPianoIt’s really amazing how quickly Alex & I became such good friends — basically, two months after meeting each other (four weeks of which Alex was in Canada, another week of which I was in Wisconsin/Minnesota), we’ve become each other’s best friend! We just think so much alike (we even independently got the same style of sandals, haha) and have so much in common, we connect on so many levels. It’s been such a blessing from God to get to know each other and become a part of each other’s lives. We’re even starting a 52-week read-through-the-Bible program together on Monday, since it’s the start of the new academic year for both of us. That’s something neither of us have done before, and we’re both really looking forward to it. I’ve never had a friend as close as Alex is, and I hadn’t realized just how much I needed someone like that. And for that I’m so thankful to God, He is so good!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.