20 April 2004

Jobs; Bethesda

Here's the latest total for one of the five positions our department has been trying to fill. We had one person turn us down before we could bring them to campus, did two on site interviews that did not result in a hire, had two more people turn us down, and a third on-site interview that did not result in a hire. So we're now talking to candidate number 7. Some people would start believing in curses at this point.


Anyway, I wanted to provide a little more detail about the trip I took last week to Washington, D.C. I've been to the city before, and enjoy a lot about it, particularly the mall. One of the surprises was that the last time I flew in, I remembered the airport being rather dingy. Maybe it was Dulles, but the Ronald Reagan National Airport was rather pleasant, as you can see. Oddly, I flew from the George Bush Airport in Houston to the Reagan airport in D.C., making it feel like some weird Republican presidents' travel line...

Reagan Reagan National Airport

Another thing I like about Washington is they have a good metro system. I was able to take the metro all the way from the airport to the hotel for $2.30. Much cheaper than the $30-$40 one person in the class spent on cab fare! The D.C. metro's not as good as Montreal, but not bad. It has two things that I'm not wild about: first, though you can't easily tell in the picture below, it's all dimly lit. Second, a lot of the entrance ways are quaite far down, and have long, steep escalators that are almost vertigo inducing.

Washington, D.C. metro

And while I was riding the mtero, I was reminded of something I'd thought about before. Whenever I take a metro, I always half-expect someone to run through, being chased. In movies, metro are used big action scene; nobody ever just rides them. (Hellboy was the most recent example of this.) Even Speed, which was famously set on a bus, saved the metro as the scene for its climax. I wonder why no other public transport attracts moviemakers attention...?

In any case, I got to the hotel without too many mishaps, although I did have a bad moment when I realised the address for the hotel was 8400 Wisconsin, not 4800 Wisconsin. Whoops. But I got to the hotel (Four Points Sheraton), had a pretty good dinner at the on site resto, Chatters, and had a bath before packing it in for the night.

The classes were not exactly early the next morning, so I had time to explore a little. Although I've been referring to Washington, the actual course was held in Bethesda, in the neighbouring state of Maryland. The piece of Bethesda I was in was rather nice, and reminded me of how much I miss civilization in souther Texas.

The courses ran their course. I had to feel for the Cambridge guys, as they were down one man: one of their staffers had come back from South America, and when they went to pick him up to take him to the airport, he met them at the door extremely ill and didn't go. Lucky for me, it didn't make difference to the material I was there to learn.

More on this trip later!

No comments: