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Orientation

Three days of faculty/staff meetings on the oddly empty ship.
About 100 of us onboard as we wait for our 600 students!

As our Executive Dean Sue Weitz said this evening, “We brought together dozens of faculty and staff from all over the world, and in three days POOF! We created a University!”

We’ve been on the ship since Jan 1, but we’re still docked in San Diego. We’ve spent the past three days doing a seemingly endless series of faculty orientation meetings and workshops. It’s kind of exhausting, but it’s been a great chance to meet and bond with colleagues, learn about the academics, field programs, ship, students, and more.

Tonight at 11 PM, we will sail from San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico where our 557 students will embark tomorrow morning! The students come from 194 different universities in 29 countries. 80% of them are women, and their average GPA is 3.43. I’m super excited to meet them and get started on our voyage for real.

Tomorrow night, once the students have had their safety briefings and a lifeboat drill, we will sail off into the open ocean for real, on our 8-day crossing to Hawaii.  We might have sporadic access to the internet during these long crossings, but quite possibly not. Each internet packet has to make 4 trips of 22,000 miles to and from a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. That’s 88,000 miles total for each little piece of every website, and the speed of light makes it slow.

Once we’re at sea, we forget all about weekdays and weekends, and just have “A” and “B” days which each have their own schedule.  I teach Oceanography on B days from 1410 to 1530. On both A and B days, I get to co-teach Global Studies to every student plus all the lifelong learners and other faculty and staff (more than 600 people total)!

Really looking forward to getting out to sea and working with these students!

 
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