...a Christmas blog this year from two people who have had a wild ride in 2016.
Carol, who was not even remotely close to being on the job market, was approached by Facebook with a job offer so crazy that it would have been insane to turn it down. She's having the time of her life, regardless, working out of her new office on 1 Hacker Way. They gave her a new laptop, and the culture at FB is to cover your laptop with stickers. Carol only has one sticker on hers, one that says: "HACK." John cracks up every time he sees her working on it. He loves his little hacker.
John has been on sabbatical, spending the last six months exploring the research cultures and natural histories of five field stations stretching from Santa Cruz Island to the North Cascades. He has been away from home as much as six weeks at a time, but Carol visited several of the field stations at points when John's research permitted conjugal visits. He spent a couple weeks at home in September, long enough to attend convocation so that he could be awarded the Dr. David E. Logothetti Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor bestowed by his college. What a surprise that was!
Much to our mutual surprise, we are in the final stages purchasing a bungalow in the San Juan Islands. Newly built, it's on a small private island without ferry service. Our back yard borders on a grass landing strip, and although you can have a plane on the island you can't have a car. The homeowners zoom around on golf carts! And the craziest thing is that Carol hasn't even seen the property. John offered to take her there when she visited him at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center for Thanksgiving, but she didn't want to distract him from his research. As if having a woman cooking a turkey in his studio wasn't distraction enough!
The place in the San Juans will be a summer cabin for now; we expect to remain in Silicon Valley for several more years, long enough to pay off the mortgage and to qualify for Medicare. But now we've solved the problem of where we're going to store our books when we're off cruising, and we may even have solved the problem of where to stay when we're done cruising. Meanwhile, Carol happily applies herself to the task of making Facebook great again, and John looks forward to returning to the classroom in January, when he'll roll out a new course, ENVS 143: Writing for the Birds.
Wishing you all the best during this season of peace,
Journal of Natural Hist. Ed.
Natural History Institute
Center for Humans & Nature