Regrouping and remembering

I know that various parts of the U.S. have been feeling the hammer of winter recently, but here in Cambridge, it’s been slowly leaning toward spring. On days when I leave the lab early (i.e., around 6 pm) to run rowing training, it’s actually started to be not pitch dark! Maybe the longer daylight hours, slightly warmer weather, and trying to socialize a bit more have contributed to a bit of a mood and energy boost, despite the fact that my experiments have been going frustratingly slowly this week. It helped that the US skiers did really well at the World Championships in Falun! It was particularly awesome to have Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg get silver and bronze in the 10k skate.

The wine/liquor store.
The wine/liquor store where Amanda and I went to get some genepi as a coaching thank-you present from W2 to Giorgio.

Another thing that helped cheer me up was the amazing performance of W1, M1, and M2 in Lent Bumps! I realize that the last part of that sentence may sound like gibberish for some people, but I probably can’t explain Bumps as well as the official site, so here you go (just click on “How Bumps Works” on the sidebar). Bumps are the biggest races of the Lent (winter) and Easter (spring) terms for the college crews, and this year, Churchill won the Marconi Cup! (This is basically an aggregate scoring method for all the college crews entered in Bumps.) Really great job to everyone who rowed over the last 4 days.

Place setting for the dinner. Do we have enough alcohol for 6 people? (Photo credit: Amanda Chen.)
Place setting for the dinner. Do we have enough alcohol for 6 people? (Photo credit: Amanda Chen.)

As a result, the mood at last night’s Boat Club Dinner was pretty festive. I can’t say my speech was particularly interesting, but everybody else did a good job, and my crew very kindly got me some chocolates and a really cool hand-drawn shirt!

Front of shirt!
Front of shirt!
Back of shirt, which is not easily readable in a mirror, but you can see the awesome lion!
Back of shirt, which is not easily readable in a mirror, but you can see the awesome lion!

We invited Trevor Cave, one of the coolest Churchill Boat Club alumni (he bank partied for us at the Newnham Race and is just generally awesome) to the dinner as a guest, and he really went all-out in thanking us for it, contributing 3 bottles of wine (two of them whites from East Anglia, which I didn’t even know had a wine industry) and a lovely, enormous cake as compensation for the fact that he ended up sitting at the high table instead of with us. We shared the cake with M2 and W1 (and Trevor, of course), but the wine pretty much stayed on our table…

The cake from Trevor.
The cake from Trevor.
The man himself! Trevor is the guy in the pink blazer,  listening as Sue Brown (president of the club) gives a speech.
The man himself! Trevor is the guy in the pink blazer, listening as Sue Brown (president of the club) gives a speech.

I was feeling pretty sick yesterday afternoon, so I didn’t stick around for very long after dinner, but it was nice to see some rowers I hadn’t talked to in a while, and I had some interesting conversations with a few people I hadn’t met before.

Whittingehame Lodge top floor: all rowers! Photo credit: Katy Surman (Amanda's phone).
Whittingehame Lodge top floor: all rowers! Photo credit: Katy Surman (Amanda’s phone).

Ending on a sad note: I just found out that one of my family’s dogs, Tiger, died last weekend. He’d had a lot of health issues over the last 6 or 7 years (polycythemia and several episodes of gastric torsion, to name just a few), and had been slowing down for quite a while. I’m sad to see him go, but I know we gave him a great home with other dogs to play with, lots of hiking, and plates to lick clean every night. I’ll miss you, buddy.

Tiger and Tillie ready to rush off after my parents and brother Todd, biking in Moab last November. (Photo credit: Mom.)
Tiger and Tillie ready to rush off after my parents and brother Todd, biking in Moab last November. (Photo credit: Mom.)
Same trip: Tiger basking in the sun (one of his favorite pastimes). (Photo credit: Mom.)
Same trip: Tiger basking in the sun (one of his favorite pastimes). (Photo credit: Mom.)
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