Well, it's been 2+ weeks since I arrived home. It sometimes feels like I never left, while other times it feels like I've been gone for months. It truly is a Time Warp - cue the Rocky Horror music and costumes. Getting adjusted to a sleep schedule was actually not too bad. I arrived home on Friday and stayed up to almost 9:00 pm. I was up at 3:00 am on Sat morning, 4:00 am on Sunday morning, and then was ready to go when my alarm went off at 5:10 am Monday. (Even creating this Journal has been an experience in time shifting. I started drafting this final entry my first few days back during my prep period while avoiding random administrative emails detailing new policies. That weekend, I flew (after 2 canceled flights and 3 cities) to Oregon to see my daughter Ellie, returning home on the red-eye and heading right into work. Sleep schedule?!? What sleep schedule? Today, Daylight Savings Time ended, so I got another hour back, but now our entire family has to remember who is in what time zone - Arizona is always the problem because they don't switch, so know we've got them all covered except for Alaska and Hawaii.

    I arrived home Saturday, October 22 to a very warm welcome by my wife and the cat Murphy. Our dog Lucy was more interested in sniffing my luggage, but then she quickly warmed up - she is a 13 lb lap dog trapped in a 77 lb Rottweiler, Australian Shepherd body.

    Pet Welcome
    Lucy and Murphy missed me

    When I got back to school, many people were happy to see me, and I was amazed by the number of people who followed along on the journals and on Twitter and Facebook. My department colleagues were very excited to hear about geeky science; many of my non-science colleagues were more interested in hearing about the ship; some of my administrators didn't even realize I was gone (one of them asked me when my trip was - thanks for the support).

    My students were glad to see me. I met several of them for the first time because they transferred to my class after I left.

    Leyden Students
    Some of my Leyden students pose with me for a selfie. I am still working on recognizing all of them. Masks make it very difficult.

    Many of them wanted to know when Mr. Ochoa (my long-term substitute teacher) was going to be back - I have a thick skin and was glad that they embraced him so much and that he was able to keep up with the curriculum. He deserves special kudos, as he was not a science major in college, but he was able to learn the biology and the physics necessary to not only follow the lesson plans, but to help the kids truly learn. I am very lucky to have had him.

    Jaime Ochoa
    Me and former student and long-term substitute extraordinaire Jaime Ochoa

    We've spent the last 2 weeks working on projects and doing labs, We've moved our desks out of rows and back into grouped tables (the students are actually farther apart than before). We celebrated Halloween (I don't think the administration realized the irony of the "no mask" policy for costumes. Someone just copied and pasted the old policy), and we even reviewed for an Exam with Kahoot.

    Science Halloween Shirt
    In honor of my trip and the Radium Women, I alternated this Halloween t-shirt with my traditional, vintage "I See Dead People" glow-in-the-dark shirt.
    Kahoot Review
    My students sitting at grouped tables playing a Kahoot Review game.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about the trip. I miss the Science Party - I wonder what they are doing, how their work is going, and am still surprised when they are not sitting at my breakfast table. I am still a little "traumatized" by the color green in nature - the only green I saw was the deck of the ship - and many of the leaves here still have not changed. I am loving fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat without sauce. I am still surprised by being able to read all the signs that I see. I miss 3:30 pm tea time (especially the ricotta-like cheese with sweetened condensed milk and sour cream), but not the mediocre instant coffee. I am still relieved when rooms and hallways don't occasionally move up and down and side to side. I find myself searching for the vast, still, extreme, light-intense expanse of the Arctic.

    Fresh Lunch
    Lunch time. Can you tell what I've been craving since returning?!?

    I was bitten by the "Polar bug" 12 years ago and had been looking for a way to return to the Arctic. PolarTREC allowed this to happen, and I know that the experience for me personally and for my students has been a profound one for which I will always be grateful.

    Sunset in the Arctic
    Arctic Beauty

    Northbrook, Illinois
    Weather Summary
    Mostly Sunny
    49 F


    Becky Alberts

    Welcome back! I was not good about following all that was happening on your trip- you mentioned the Time Warp- even without being on a trip somehow it's November, and mid November at that. I will have to back track on your posts... enjoy your family, pets and real coffee!

    Jonathan Pazol

    Not a problem! That's the beauty of the internet and archived posts. I can't believe it's mid-November either. I am realllllyyy enjoying the coffee.


    I applaud your choice of Halloween t-shirt!
    I am similarly missing having the company of friends at every breakfast and tea time, but enjoying good coffee & fruit! I find that I have gotten so used to looking at the sky (particularly during sunrises & sunsets) that I have to remind myself to look at the road while I am driving. It's going to take a little longer to get used to looking at cityscapes and computer screens instead of the Arctic landscape.

    Jonathan Pazol

    I knew you would appreciate the t-shirt. Not all of the students understood it, but it was a good "lesson." They just rolled their eyes at me when I explained it - everything is back to normal :)

    marice gravenhorst

    So happy you had safe travels. We love reading your journals and all the science stuff too! Enjoy the remaining school year and Happy Future Retirement. I recommend it highly. Marcy & Brian Gravenhorst

    Richard Vallicelli

    Thanks, Jon.