Flying home is a sobering thing. I'm really sad to be leaving. I will miss the work - I love drilling - and I will miss the people terribly.
To the drillers (Darrell, Terry, Thomas, Dave, Rob, Jim, and James): Thank you for taking me uder your wings and teaching me to drill. I know you don't want people knowing this but you're the sweetest group of guys and you made me feel so welcome. I will cherish my roll of driller tape, my bracelet, my certificate, and our time together. Thank you for everything. Please keep in touch and think of me if you ever need a new driller. Especially one that's small. And female.
Darrell: Thank you for the gifts. I love them and they mean a lot to me. Thank you for showing me around the Berms and for telling me all the IceCube stories. Don't forget to take care of my cup for me.
Terry: Thank you for teaching me about how the drill works and for putting up with me when I was being demanding. I enjoyed hanging out and I learned a lot from you. Your support has made me feel more confident in myself.
Thomas: Thank you for inviting me to help with your projects - the door, the part on heater #6, etc. You were my first friend at the Pole and you helped me feel like I was part of the team. I'm sorry I'm so bad at playing pool, though. :)
Dave: Thank you for everything. You're a really great guy and you've done so much in your life. Thank you for teaching me about the drill, telling me your stories, for celebrating my last day at work, for listening to me when I wondered about the valving, and for letting me be a part of your team.
Rob: Thank you for this cough that I have now. :) Thanks for fixing the hole in my glove and for answering all of the questions I asked. You felt like a big brother to me.
James: Thank you for letting me hang out with you in the House-that-Thomas-Built. I learned a ton from you and I appreciate it. A lot of what I know about drilling is from talking with you and staring at those numbers for hours. Thank you for letting me drive the drill even though I think it made you nervous.
Jim: Thank you for being so enthusiastic about everything. It's so neat and inspiring to be around someone who loves the work so much and is so interested in it. I'm glad I got the chance to work with you and I'd love to hear how the peach can idea works out.
To the deployment team (Albrecht, Mike, Perry, and Chih-Ching): Thank you for letting me help out with deployment. It's fascinating what it takes to deploy a string and I'm glad I could be part of the effort. I look forward to learning even more about the project and I wish I could've had more time with you guys. Thank you for seeing me off on my last day. It meant a lot to me to have you there. Albrecht - thank you for all the kind words and the photos. Perry - thank you for the conversation and for getting an avid reader to my blog. I hope everything works out with the owls. Mike - Thanks for being so accepting of me. Chih-ching - thank you for letting me help rig up the antennas for testing.
To the winter-overs (Blaise and Felipe): Thank you for all of the fun times and for letting me hang out in the science lab when I lived in the hypertats. I'm glad I got to know you guys and I wish could be there over winter. Well, kinda. :) Blaise - thank you for the Guess Who game and for hanging out with me at work on my last day. Both of those were super fun. Felipe - Thank you for comforting me on my last day and for the candy bar (I ate it all before I left McMurdo).
To Nils: Thank you for running the webcasts and for letting me take a picture of your room for my blog. It's too bad you had to leave so soon after I got there but I know you're having fun travelling around New Zealand. I can't wait to see how your planetarium video turns out.
To the IceCube team back home (Jim, Megan): Thank you for all of the support. It's difficult to help from so far away but you guys did a great job. Jim - Thank you for inviting me to do this. My life has been forever changed and I'm so happy to have had this experience.
To PolarTREC (Janet, Sarah, Zeb, and Ronnie): Thank you guys for the most amazing opportunity of my life. This has changed so many things and I'm so grateful for it. I'm even going to get a Mac now. :) I'm definitely a polar junkie.
To KSTF (Too many people to name): Thanks to all of you for introducing me to the idea of good professional development. I think you may have created a monster. :) Thanks for all of your support over the years, it's made a huge difference in my life and I can't imagine where I'd be without it.
To the KSTF/IceCube crew (Casey, Katey, Kristen, Scott, and Jim): Thank you for all of the fun times in Fairbanks, River Falls, Madison, and Philly. I've enjoyed hanging out with you guys and going through parts of this experience together. It's been great getting to know all of you. Katey - thanks for answering my random questions over the past year. Your advice really helped and saved me from packing a lot of extra stuff that I wouldn't need. Casey - Thanks for entertaining the experiment ideas from my students and for answering my questions this year, too.
To Shelly: Thanks for greeting me on my first day and showing me around the station. It was a really nice introduction to everything and it made the transition a lot easier for me. Thanks for talking to me about how to get back down there, too. And thanks for the Firefly picture. :) Turned out awesome.
To Gaston Day School: Thank you for allowing me the time off to go and for being so supportive of this trip. I can't wait to see how what kind of changes this will bring into my classes. Lucy - thanks for taking over my classes while I was gone. I'm glad that you were there and I'm sure the students were, too.
To the NSF: Thank you for funding every part of this experience. The projects (IceCube and ARA) are doing really awesome and ambitious things and I'm glad to know that they are recognized as being worthwhile. PolarTREC is a phenomenal program, too. It has affected and will affect so many people - teachers, students, and the general public - in such good ways. Thank you for everything.
And to everyone who will be in Madison, WI this summer: I'm going to visit and I'm making chocolate chip cookies for all of you.