This week marked the return of undergraduates to the university at which I work. Not all of the undergraduates—this week is just reserved for the newbies. The mixture of excitement and fear was etched into their faces. The orientation mentors, on the other hand, seemed relieved to be back at school away from their summer jobs, parents, and back with their friends. It was also interesting to watch all of the parents drop their kids off...now that is where you see panic.
It's funny, back at the university at which I am a student the end of summer was always marked by the dread of finding parking spaces anywhere within the vicinity of campus. Here in New York, the end of summer is marked by the
Although school being "back" in session has very little effect on me since I am neither taking nor teaching any classes, it does mark a countdown that is fraught with excitement and nerves. I guess it's not unlike those freshman starting their first class next week. After a year of transitions, this year is going to be pretty intense given the goals that I have laid out for myself. At this time next year—if all goes well—I will hopefully be Dr. Mike and be marking another pretty big transition to the the next phase of my career, hopefully with a job/post-doc in hand. I guess it's t-minus two days and counting...
 That reminds me that I need: a) an advisor voodoo doll, b) committee member voodoo dolls, c) application reviewer voodoo dolls, and d) graduate college voodoo dolls. I'll put them on my birthday wishlist.