By Angel Hinzo
Hello everyone! Although I am thankful to have made it back to Davis in one piece, I can’t help but look back on my summer adventures with nostalgia. Although I try to maintain a balance of relaxation and work, unforeseen circumstances prevented the completion of my plans for interviews and travel for the weeks before the first week of school (more on this later). However, I am determined to find time to take care of these tasks throughout the coming year. During the final weeks of class in mid-June, I imagined that my summer would include visits to my sister in southern California, a visit to Nebraska, time to work on my academic reading list and possibly time to read a few non-academic books. Although I only placed a small dent in my reading list, and still need to read a non-academic book, I am completely satisfied with all of the adventures I
had during my time off.
My first trip of the summer was an Amtrak ride to visit my family in the San Diego area and catch up with my friends. This was my first time taking the train down to Oceanside, so it was definitely a new experience. Generally, I take the Greyhound down south but the Amtrak was significantly faster travel. The train was completely full as people traveled in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday. I had not seen my sister and nephew since Christmas, and this was the first time I was able to see my brother-in-law since his return from service in Afghanistan. I was
glad to be able to have family meals with them and reunite our Rockband band (seriously). I’m pretty sure the neighbors were happy when I left…and slightly disappointed when I returned a few days later.
I took a road-trip up to San Francisco with one of my very good friends and crashed a science conference she was attending. Although the language of the conference was extremely technical, I enjoyed the opportunity to converse with those in other disciplines. We were able to take the BART into various places of San Francisco and drive through the city at night but I have yet to explore the city completely. I returned to Davis briefly and drove back down to San Diego where I was able to spend more time with my sister and family. From San Diego I flew to Omaha, Nebraska to visit my family in Winnebago. Unfortunately, I was only able to spend a week with them. While in Winnebago I met the Director of the Ho-Chunk Renaissance Program, the Tribal College librarian, and a few faculty members of Little Priest Tribal College. I also saw the flooding of the Missouri River which has been severe this summer. Interestingly enough, many of the people I talked with mentioned that the Missouri looks a lot like how it was described to look when Ho-Chunks navigated it prior to damming.
After my time in Winnebago, I returned to Davis for a few weeks to check on my cats and visit with some friends. Then I flew to Detroit, Michigan to visit my long-time friend and her family in Macomb County. I had not planned on making this trip but was pleasantly surprised when I was able to book my flight and visit. While in Michigan I got to drive down back roads that I have not seen in a few years and visit my friend’s farm. Additionally we took time to drive to Sandusky, Ohio and visit Cedar Point. It was fun until we got lost looking for the Ohio Turnpike
after dark. Overall it was a very busy and exciting visit.
Once I returned to Davis I began the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Summer Session Workshop Series. Additionally, I began preparing to teach NAS 5 in the fall. Within this structured preparation, I have also taken time for more leisurely activities such as going to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and spending time at the American River. My original plans to travel to Nebraska before the start of the quarter have been put on hold due to my cat, Squeaky, becoming ill. She is 17 years old and looks like she will make it through her illness which is fantastic news for the end of the summer. I am definitely looking forward to all of the opportunities for spontaneous learning, research, and travel that the new academic year will offer.