Monday, September 17, 2007

Re-Adapting to Life in Civilization

With the best of intentions, I had planned to quickly follow-up on Weeks 2 and 3 of this year's Dinosaur Field School. They were very successful weeks, with many wonderful fossils being unearthed, but being back in civilization has required a bit more adjustment than I had envisioned. I'm readapting to home life and work life, catching up on the nearly 2000 emails I received while away (not including the more than 1700 pieces of spam) and returning more than a dozen voice mails.There are many great films and Sunday cartoons about what life is like in an office cubicle, but until you've spent 5 weeks under the Big Sky of Montana, it really doesn't hit home.

On our way out to Montana, a lovely woman in Middle-of-Nowhere, South Dakota noticed from Dr. Storr's driver's license that he was from Kentucky. "We were there a couple of months ago," she commented. "It was pretty, but there were too many trees." We got a good chuckle about it for a few days, but when I returned to Cincinnati--which has not only trees but a lot of houses, shopping centers and people--I, too, got a sense of claustrophobia.

It wasn't only the closeness of everything and everybody, but the idea of getting back into a schedule that isn't based on when the sun rises or sets has also been a big readjustment. Jokingly, we refer to the locals in Montana as running on "Red Lodge Time", meaning "I'll get there when I get there." Life in Montana, and elsewhere in the West, runs on a schedule all its own...and that's something that I, for one, certainly miss.

Now, those reports from Weeks 2 and 3 are Red Lodge Time...but they'll be up soon.


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