25 November, 1999
Happy Thanksgiving! Well, almost. It really isn't Thanksgiving in the United States until tomorrow (remember I'm 17 hours ahead of Central Standard Time) and seeing that Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, I guess we have to wait until then. In fact, today was a regular workday in McMurdo. We will have our Thanksgiving meal on Saturday and the ASA support personnel will have two days off this week instead of the usual one. I am signed up to help prepare the meal on Saturday morning. In my next journal on Sunday, I will tell you all about Thanksgiving in Antarctica.
I have gotten some information about my return to Appleton. I will be scheduled to leave the "ice" on December 3rd (As always around here, this is subject to the weather.). I should be back in my classroom before Christmas. I am sure Cary Anderson, the teacher filling in for me while I am gone, will be happy to hear that even if my students are not.
In today's journal I am going to do something a bit different. Each day I have been telling you about the neat things that I have had the opportunity to learn about and experience. I started to think that maybe you think I am on one big field trip. Well, actually, that is sort of true. However, much of my time on the ice has been taken up by the routine, albeit important, business of living and working in Mactown. I thought I would give you a quick run down of what a "typical" day might be for me.
I usually wake up about 6-7AM. Three days a week I go to the gym to get a little exercise so I won't gain too much weight because of the good food here. After I wash up (we are supposed to take only 3 or 4, three-minute showers a week.), I stop at the galley for a cup of coffee. I then head over to Crary Lab. We usually have a meeting of all the Cape Robert's Project team at 10:30AM conducted by Peter Webb, head of the project. Before and after the meeting I work in the lab processing samples. About noon I go to lunch. One really strange thing in McMurdo is that over half the people who live here have exactly the same red parkas. It sometimes takes me several minutes to find which one is mine at the coat rack. Good thing the coats have names on them and the coat racks have numbers.
Following lunch, it's, back to the lab or I may go visit somebody in Mactown and interview him or her for the journal. At about 6, we head over to supper. After supper, I may stop at the store and pick up some snacks or refreshments then I usually go back to Crary to start writing my journal. On weekends, I may go back and do my laundry. I usually head to bed about 10:00PM or so. Sometime I watch a movie with the other residents in the dorm in the TV lounge. I have had no trouble sleeping here. I am usually pretty tired by the time I hit the sack.
I have had many wonderful experiences so far in Antarctica and I hope to have more in the short time I have left here. Many days have been far from routine or predictable. However, I do take much comfort from performing the daily tasks of living here and doing the useful work in the lab that contributes to the success of the Cape Robert's Project.
I will next talk to you in my journal on Sunday, November 28th. Happy Thanksgiving to you all, especially to my wife Pam, my daughter Ellie and my son Matthew. I miss them all.
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