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Craig Beals's picture

September 1, 2008

 

This is the end…

 

My wind chapped and sun cracked nose has finally healed.  Family barbeques and fresh garden vegetables are helping me pack the 15 lost pounds back onto my frame.  The heat of summer continues to remind me of cool nights at Summit Camp.

 

It took a while for me to ease back into life "in the real world”.  The 90 degree difference between Summit Camp, and the heat wave that has engulfed Billings, MT this summer has proved to be the hardest adjustment.  With time (and air conditioning) I am learning to cope with the scorching temperatures.

 

But…let me take a step back…

 

I arrived at the Billings airport late on the night of July 12th.  My wife called me while I was waiting for my baggage at the carrousel to tell me she had to move the car away from the terminal because our dog "Danger” was barking incessantly at every person that walked out of the airport.  "Somebody knows we’re here to pick you up,” Christi said on the phone.

 

Danger hasn’t left my side since.  He follows me all around the house.  He slept in the bed (with his big blonde Labrador head on top of my chest) for nearly a week…and to think I was told that dogs don’t have a concept of time!

 

 

While I was excited to see my dog, I was even more excited to see Christi.  Six weeks is now officially the longest we have been apart in more than 12 years and hopefully it remains that way!  It was hard to be away but I think it is harder for the one who has to stay home and take care of all those things two people normally do, with only one to finish the tasks.  Thankfully, the responsible one of us was at home to make sure the lawn was watered, the dog was fed, the bills were paid, and nothing caught fire!

 

I thank her for allowing me to participate in this adventure.

 

I thank PolarTREC and ARCUS for seeing the importance of placing teachers in sensitive areas to assist top researchers as they search for important answers about our changing world.  The efforts of those at the PolarTREC offices are helping to change the lives of thousands of young people.

 

I thank Barry Lefer of the University of Houston for going out on a limb and taking a "less” experienced educator to Summit Camp, he has forever changed my life.

 

…and, I thank all those who followed along with me on this adventure.  The many late nights of writing journal entries sometimes proved to be exhausting, but the words of encouragement and the fantastic questions pushed me through to the next day.  For me this was an AMAZING opportunity and I am glad I could take you all along.

 

Opportunity****:

 

Never pass up an opportunity you never know what might happen if you don’t give it a try.  This adventure was the opportunity of a lifetime.

 

 I learned more about chemistry and applied research in 5 weeks that I learned in all my 8 years of college.

 

 I have met some truly amazing people who are passionate about the world in which we live, passionate about their work and passionate about making a difference in people’s lives.

 

 I spent time in one of the MOST REMOTE places on Earth…and survived!  Only a handful of people have ever had the opportunity to experience Summit Camp, Greenland and I feel very fortunate to say that I was allowed to learn, share and grow in that amazing place.

 

I had a small taste of the good life with the AMAZING meals and the opportunity to savor foods I might never taste again.

 

…and I hope I can convince my students and the people around me to take advantage of every opportunity they might encounter; to chase the unknown to see what might happen; to explore ideas they never imagined; and to open their mind to new and exciting adventures.

 

Thank You for following along…and while my stay at Summit is over, I will begin a new adventure of sharing the wonders of SCIENCE with anyone who will listen…

 

STAY WARM!!

 

Craig.