Wow, it is already week 2! I want to take some time to look back at the first couple of days.
I knew coming in the first week of the program would be difficult; I would be coming to a new environment (new state, new school, new people) and bringing my old along with me. By bringing the old with me, I mean homework and finals. I study at Carleton College which runs on a trimester schedule which means I am supposed to finish school in early June. I flew into Iowa for the VRAC REU on May 29 with a week of finals ahead of me.
Still Pretty Early On, But Later
Yesterday was my last day of finals and I had finished everything on time. But, this had some repercussions on my experience in Iowa. I am still pretty unfamiliar with the area because I haven’t had the chance to explore. The only places I had gone were the dorm, gym, and VRAC facility. We did go on a tour of the campus, but that isn’t how I usually get accustomed to places; it usually takes some time and exploration (getting lost).
I’m starting to get used to my surroundings! I went to Ames Summerfest and walmart which isn’t much for most people, but coming from small towns (Portland, ME and Northfield, MN), I was pleasantly surprised. I got some groceries and effectively used the transportation system (which is free!). I’ve also started to game a bit more (my roommates have open doors for me in terms of gaming possibilities) and am excited and worried to see where this goes.
As for my research, we will be heading down to meet some Traffic Incident Managers (TIM) in Des Moines. Hopefully, they will provide information on their experience that is beyond what I’ve read in previous research.