Yippee !! We have snow

On the dot of 2 pm today, the heavens opened up without a prelude and went straight into snow mode. We have a three day weekend in college and I was watching youtube videos and enjoying the day off when I saw dirty leaf like things falling from the skies- turned out to be little snow feathers.

It strengthened into strong snow drops and fell straight from the skies.

The snow man with the machine is working overtime like he was waiting on the sides for it to snow. He is continuously mowing the snow in the car park that I see from my dorm window.

It is winter wonderland.

Spring 2020

First day of class on Monday, January 13, 2020.

Shopping period going on- a little better equipped than when I was during the Fall term during the Shopping Window. We look around, we attend classes, and we choose the classes we need to attend to get the remaining 6 credits towards the Masters Degree.

Attended a Survival Analysis class by one of my favourite Biostatistics teachers ever. It was great to be in her class- this class coincided with one other class which I wanted to take on “Surveillance”. So I opted to do the Survival analysis class as an auditor but it turns out I cannot do that as the mandated class and the audited class are held at exactly the same times . Why would they do that ? After the Survival Analysis class I ran to a mandated class on Applied methods in Biostatistics by one of my not so favorite professors- turned out to be awful- a lot of rules and cannot dos.

I did not enjoy that class but since it was mandated for all MPH students, the auditorium was overfull.

Tuesday saw me attending a class on Outbreak investigation- this is an essential thing for a person belonging to a South East Asian country where newer epidemics arise almost every day- the class was on the Spanish Influenza of 1918 and the history of it- as a history buff, I love public health classes with an over dose of history. This class was taken by experts from the state public health department. Wonderful hearing of all their experiences- a warning was put out to watch for a new Corona virus probably with pandemic potential just now originating in China. This class was followed by another mandated class on ” Newer threats”. There is no way one can get out of this class. It has to be attended to be believed- that such a class is possible- it is one of a kind- last Semester I had a mandated health policy class but this one far outweighs that class in the extraordinary genre. And it is mandatory. Who knows what the future holds for this class for me. Sigh !!

Today’s first class is on Surveillance- I am waiting to attend this to see where it goes. No one can say anything about any class here- each has its own features to say the least- one cannot go by the title or the teacher’s name or nature or bio- each class is a lived experience. No one can predict where it will go.

Travel update

The trip back home was rather uneventful. The only things that went wrong were that I could not fit in things into my sling bag that I intended to carry as carry on luggage and had to change to my big handbag at the last moment. In the process a couple of my spectacles and my mobile phone ( local number) got left behind. My husband dropped me at the airport and I went along confidently to do my check in. There I found that I was not a “Gold” passenger as I expected with all the frequent trans Atlantic flights but an ordinary one. Spirits dampened a bit, walked to the Gate where the Boston flights were scheduled to take off from, only to find about an hour later that the gate had changed. Had to run to the new gate and the queue there was to be seen to be believed. I was swabbed, examined and submitted to a thorough examination like a harbinger of microbes and sent to the check in gate. There an announcement on the public system greeted me that I needed to contact ground staff. Duly reported to ground staff and found my husband had alerted them that I had left my phone behind- he didn’t know I had a separate phone with my US number with me and it was only the local number phone I had left behind. The ground staff verified with me that I had a phone and said pass on- never mind the announcement and so I went on. Altogether disgruntled by this time, I did not think of asking for a local number to let my husband know I was ok and had a phone.

With all the tensions before the trip about flight routes over disputed and unsafe territories, we managed to fly relatively uninterrupted over the Persian Bay and entered land over Basra in Iraq- a totally new flight route for me. The long 15 hour trans- Atlantic flight took me to Boston a full one hour later than scheduled. A mad scramble followed to catch the Silverline to the South Station bus terminal for my onward journey.

Reached the bus terminal around 4:30 pm with an hour to spare before my bus ride to the college. Waiting for the bus, I encountered a person whose position seemed even worse than mine. By this time, I had activated my cellular network for the US phone and was able to let near and dear ones that I was ok and had reached terra firma safe and sound.

The lady who seemed to have a huge amount of baggage said her phone had cracked and she had no way to contact her father who was supposed to pick her up- she seemed about my age. I allowed her use of my phone, after which she proceeded to call up a number and lambast whoever was at the other end in a loud voice asking them to pick her up as she had no money. The person on the other end, hung up. Then she asked me to dial another number and contact someone else. By this time, I had a call from my husband and so moved away from all the noise and bustle to explain my stand to him.

The bus came by at 5:30 and we reached the Union Station in two hours flat- there was a half hour wait before I got on the College shuttle to get to my room. Did I mention that we had to return back home to pick up my college ID and room key which I had left behind at home – so I could open my door and rest my feet after a full 24 hour on the move.

Preparing to Return

The past month I have been home with my family has nearly gone by. Where did it go? Seems like a month went by pretty fast.

Tomorrow I travel back.

In a time when planes crash and tempers run high, we think until we pass the International borders of one country, we will not be safe. When actually we do not know anything about the future. What does this new year hold for us? Or even what does tomorrow hold ?

I came with a couple of warm clothes with me but am told when I return the temperatures have dropped though there is no snow.

As to subject shopping, haven’t decided on what subjects to choose for the new year. Let’s see. By about 8 pm on Sunday, I should be in my dorm.