20 November, 1998
Well, today was my official final full day at McMurdo. I woke very early (5:15 am) because I knew I had a lot to do. I did a couple loads of laundry, went to breakfast, packed my bags one last time, and set off to Crary Lab to catch up my journals and photos on the web site.
I spent most of the morning writing my journal entries from the previous week...with a short break at 10:30 am (my time) to call my classroom back in the States (at 3:30 pm their time, after school on Thursday). We decided that I would speak on speaker phone and discuss what I had been doing in the past several days first. It worked, but I guess I was really hard to hear on the phone. It was good to hear that things were going smoothly without me (I'm dispensable!) and good to hear that my students seemed interested in what I was doing.
I didn't really finish my journal entries until about 3:00 in the afternoon, and then I spent until 5:00 uploading my photos. It was a matter of going through all of the photos and uploading the best representative ones to the web site.
So most of my last day at McMurdo was spent getting last minute responsibilities and chores done! At 5:00 I returned to my dorm room to gather both of my orange bags and my cold weather gear and trudge up the hill to report for "bag drag." This simply means that they weigh your bags, you, and your cold weather gear for the flight the next day. They have to make sure that they are below their flight weight limits. They took my "hold" bag and allowed me to return to my room with my carry-on bag (items that I would want if the plane did not leave McMurdo tomorrow). I have to report at 5:30 tomorrow morning for a flight out around 7:00 am. I will be flying to Christchurch in a C-130, a prop-driven military plane; therefore, the flight will be twice as long as my flight down on the C-141 (a jet). The flight will be about 8 hours!
My group went to check out a video at the video rental booth at the McMurdo Store (you don't have to pay...just check it out under someone's name), and we chose Men in Black for our evening's entertainment. Chris bought popcorn.
We had dinner. I finished up my journals and my e-mails, Mark and Chris finished the last part of their experiments for the day, and then we all headed over to the dorm lounge at about 10:00 pm to watch our movie. Some of the dorms are quite nice-- they have ice machines, microwaves, a pool room, a lounge with a big-screen TV-- just like college dorms.
I went to bed at around 12:30 am, knowing that I had to wake up in about 4 hours...I'll have to sleep on the plane. What else am I going to do for 8 hours? :)
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