Friday, July 31, 2015

Git Along, Lil Doggies!

I recently read a review of an autobiographical book written by a man who bought a Conestoga wagon and retraced the Oregon Trail. Now, readers of a certain age may have fond memories of typing "bang" while hunting wild buffalo, or of writing their frenemies' names on the tombstones of members of their party who perished of cholera in the computer game. Author Rinker Buck--an older gentleman and an intrepid traveler--will always remember the three mules who pulled the wagon he and his younger brother lived and traveled in in the summer of 2011. I thought of his "mule-whisperer" talents when visiting the Museum of Western Art in Kerrville, Texas. It's a small-ish collection in a building that apparently has architectural value. (Something about the floor and ceiling tiles. They looked nice. I was more charmed by the tiny lizard [gecko?] that had found its way inside.) Cowboy apologists and cattle enthusiasts seem to enjoy the romance of the vast plain and the nostalgia of barbed wire. Really. There was an entire exhibit dedicated to the dozens (hundreds?) of designs humankind has dreamt up in sharp metal. I suppose the exhibit designers were thinking of ranching. I was thinking of WWI.

Speaking of gun violence, one room was dedicated to Nick Eggenhoffer's (1897-1985) illustrations of the many different situations in which men could find themselves shooting each other: cavalry and "Injuns," robbers and stage coach drivers, Johnny Reb and Billy Yank, cattlemen and rustlers, drunk cowboys in a saloon... You might recognize the "King of the Pulps"'s work from old Western fiction (click for an example).

A back room houses an interactive exhibit about the Oregon Trail (here's a photo). Ostensibly for kids--who can dress up and clamber inside a small covered wagon--the exhibit includes a lot of context, from the mail system to medical treatment. (Although, in the effort to offer an authentically "old"-looking sample text, they used a facsimile of an 18th-century medical text that would have been out of date by the time of the western migrations.) Nevertheless, I appreciated the fictitious storyline told in the first-person viewpoint of a child experiencing the grueling journey.

I don't know that this museum would be worth a second visit, but it certainly filled a late afternoon. Perhaps the most interesting moment came when a trio of women approached me to ask about my knapsack, a cheap giveaway from the campus bookstore that I take to Camp CAMP because I won't mind if it gets dirty or lost. It turns out that they used to live in my area, and the daughters/sons-in-law had attended my university. One wanted to know where to find the t-shirt I'm modeling above, and somehow I found myself explaining my educational path through two degrees. I'm sure there's an Oregon-Trail analogy that could be made there, but I'll spare you.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Beautiful Things to See in Kerrville, Part 2

If you missed part 1 of Beautiful Things to See in Kerrville, here it is.

When I couldn't see the history of tuberculosis in Kerr County exhibit at the Hill Country Preservation Society, I decided to enjoy the varied offerings of the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center. Free is a price I like! The first room had paintings on loan from a local gallery. The next room contained artwork by winners of the 2015 American Plains Artists Awards. Jammey Huggins' southwestern-flavored sculptures highlight animals like owls, bears, and ocean life. Their muted earth-tones paired nicely with the vibrant colors of Patsy Lindamood's buffalo, cattle, and rodeo paintings.

Next to this desert squirrel nibbling on a prickly pear was a door with a sign in day-glo colors on a black background. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but I wasn't sure whether it was an exhibit or something else. So I opened the door and peeked inside the dark little closet with an illuminated shelf behind glass. I closed the door. A voice began to speak, and the light slowly dimmed while a black light turned on. It was an exhibit on luminescent minerals! Easily the trippiest thing I had seen all month. The recording explained that certain combinations of elements glow under various wavelengths. Here they are in all their multi-hued curiosity:

The third room held entries to the HomeTown Crafts Teachers Show for current and retired art teachers in the area. There was an impressive array of paintings, drawings, and crafts, including metal working, basket weaving (with pine needles!), glass, and clay. I would gladly have purchased any number of pieces, but I didn't have room in my luggage. I did pick up a few Christmas presents, however.

Did you know that the Texas Hill Country is a center of the wool industry? A local merchant had come to showcase her fashion pieces in mohair. Apparently Hillary Clinton and a variety of Ms Rodeo and other pageant contestants have worn her pieces. There was also a large wooden Ferris wheel with a motion sensor that turned on whenever someone walked by, and a sizable gift shop. The exhibits change every month, and the price is always right, so I highly recommend this little gem of a gallery.

Douglas Garey, Scolopendra heros. This is a red-headed centipede. In vivo they grow up to 6-8 inches long. At a couple feet long, this is the biggest one I saw while in Texas, but it's made of iron. The developmental pediatrics fellow who gave us a couple lectures decided to enliven things by interspersing his medical slides with images and facts about some of Texas' worst creepy crawlies. Iggit iggit!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Beautiful Things to See in Kerrville, Part 1

On my day off between sessions at Camp CAMP, I borrowed a car and drove to nearby Kerrville, Texas. A town of 20,000, it is home to Schreiner University and is the center of a thriving arts scene in the Texas Hill Country.

While ostensibly there to use a laundromat to do a load of laundry, I took the opportunity to enjoy the sights. First order of business: lunch. I had picked out a likely place on Google Maps, but when I parked downtown, it turned out to be a fancy Italian restaurant. I figured that was more than I wanted to spend on a solo meal, so I wandered down the main street past art galleries and antique shops, then along a side street. I decided to stop at Rita's Famous Tacos--even though we'd had burritos for lunch the day before--IF there wasn't something else down the way. I walked all the way down to Wolfmueller's Books, turned around, and decided to give Crumbs a try. This brightly painted cafe is so new that it doesn't show up on Google Maps--still, about five months after opening. The owners are still getting the kinks the worked out, but I was glad I tried it. (You can read my review here.) I even came back for an ice cream cone later.

Across the street, a banner for an exhibit on tuberculosis at the Hill Country Preservation Society caught my eye (above). Unfortunately that museum was closed for the month of July. So I visited the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center instead. (Click here for that post: Beautiful Things to See in Kerrville, Part 2.) Afterward, I enjoyed the view from the lookout pavilion over the Guadalupe River. To the right of the dam, the water was deep and green. Families swam, fished, and canoed. To the left of the dam, children played with dogs in the shallows or tubed on a short stretch of rapids. The park you can see across the river (Louise Hays Park) was built in one day, on April 26, 1950. About 2,000 volunteers constructed picnic platforms complete with tables, a performance stage, a miniature golf course, and a children's playground.

Along the railing of the pavilion, large cards provided a history of Kerrville. The area was originally settled by Apache and Comanche tribes. Lumbermen settled along the river in the 1840s and 1850s. One of them, Joshua Brown, named the growing encampment for his friend James Kerr. Kerr had moved from Kentucky to Texas in 1825, but he died before ever visiting Kerrsville. The "s" was later dropped. The Native Americans were assimilated or driven away.

From shingles and lumber before the Civil War, the economy shifted to cattle ranching. Confederate Captain Charles Schreiner (of recent French extraction) moved out of San Antonio to head up cattle drives 900 miles north to Oglalla, Nebraska. Schreiner soon realized that the Hill Country was better suited to sheep and goats, so he pioneered the wool and mohair industry in this region. He is of course the namesake of the Presbyterian university in town.

As long as the breeze blew away the heat, then I wanted to sit on the bluff for hours. However, my next destination closed at 5pm to new visitors, so soon it was off to the Museum of Western Art. (Click here for that post.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Achieving Maximum Potential

Singing deer head
Way back at the beginning of my second year of medical school, Dear Husband was the only one who could come to my white-coat ceremony. While I was waiting alone in the bustle of happy families for him to arrive from a wedding that ran long, I bumped into a doc who turned out to be a developmental pediatrician. When he found out I wanted to work with special-needs kids, he gave me his card and recommended I spent a week at Camp CAMP, helping Children with developmental disabilities Achieve their Maximum Potential. So the next summer, after taking my first board (do you notice a pattern developing here?), I flew down to San Antonio for a few days of training and a week of acting as a one-on-one volunteer counselor for a camper. I made sure she was dressed, toileted, ate, swam, canoed, went to arts and crafts, and got ready for bed. It was exhausting, which is part of the point: Camp provides typical summer fun to campers and respite for their parents. Camp takes all comers, even if they require two counselors (mostly area high schoolers and college kids), and integrates everyone into all activities to the best of their ability and interest. At Camp, even campers on ventilators get in the pool and go down the slip-n-slide.

This year, because I had (finally!) finished my core rotations, I was eligible to return as a health care volunteer. These folks are responsible for administering medications and handling any medical issues that arise, from sunburns to seizures. I chose continuing medical education weeks with lectures in the mornings in order to receive course credit from my medical school. The first week I attended, campers had medical diagnoses ranging from diabetes to cerebral palsy to respiratory compromise. Campers at my second week fell on the autism spectrum.

Talented and dedicated med staff!

Every year, every week, and every day at Camp has a theme. The days are always the same: Monday—Tribe Color Day, Tuesday—Pajama Day, Wednesday—Wacky-Tacky Day, Thursday—Crazy Hat/Hair Day, Friday—T-shirt Day. This year the theme was Storybook, and my first week’s theme was Harry Potter. The campers were organized into “houses,” the secretary dyed her hair red so she could dress up as Mrs. Weasley, and one day they organized a camp-wide “Trip Down Diagon Alley,” complete with Butterbeer. (I understand it consists of root beer, cream soda, and vanilla ice cream; I’m sorry I didn’t get to try any.) My second week’s theme was Dr. Seuss. I joined the Poetry Club: over the week the campers each wrote and decorated a booklet of poems, and on the last day we went on a Dr. Seuss-themed scavenger hunt for the Cat’s Hat and Dr. Seuss’s least favorite word. (Can you guess what it was?)*
Is it a flag pole or
a Truffala Tree?

The first couple of days were a crash course in medication administration, a completely new subject for this green medical student. In charge of half a dozen young men on Week 1, I administered medications 8 times a day, and if I wasn’t giving meds, I was prepping or documenting them. I learned how to inject insulin, crush pills, use a G-tube, and give a nebulizer treatment. On Week 2 I had fewer med times but more campers, a dozen young women who all took their pills orally with water, juice, or applesauce. That week I joked that some people come back from vacation and shake sand out of their clothes, but I was going to be shaking Miralax out of mine.

By Week 2 I felt comfortable enough with the Camp routine to help orient the new crop of HCVs. Maybe I was too comfortable, because one evening I failed to check the name on the bag with the name tag on the camper in front of me and gave the right pill to the wrong camper. My first medication error. I was figuratively sick to my stomach; the camper was literally sick to her stomach, which may have been the unfamiliar pill or the 14 cups of water she had drunk that day. The head nurse talked it over with me later, acknowledging my feelings and then counseling that I let them go. No great harm was done, especially if I used the experience to learn how to avoid making *that* error in the future. The nature of being a clinician and a human being means that I will surely go on to make other errors in my career.

Quidditch: basically Calvin
Ball with brooms
Despite the heat, I had a blast at Camp—which is good, because it was the closest thing I had to an extended summer vacation. My favorite moment from Week 1 was the absolute joy of one of my campers when his house (team) won a round of Quidditch. Apparently that was only the semi-finals, because then he came bounding down the hill again to share that they had won—again!

Another episode that made a big impression on me happened during Week 2, when a large young man on the spectrum threw an epic tantrum over not wanting to take his medication. Now, I completely sympathized with him. It requires a great deal of emotional energy to swallow pills every day of your life. He had reached his breaking point, but he did not have the skills to deal with his frustration and anger in socially acceptable ways. So he yelled, charged at his counselors, overturned trash cans, and tried to swipe everything off the counters in the mess hall. He made a fearsome picture. Being young but well trained, the staff at Camp activated a protocol for such “behaviors” that involved a few counselors providing him space to vent as he wandered about the grounds. At one point he came up to our med table, threw his arms around a camper in our tribe, and sobbed into his shoulder about not wanting to take his meds. It turns out the two had interacted earlier in the week; despite our first impression, the young man was actually a sweetheart, as we got to see later.

It's a snitch!
Between weeks on service I explored nearby Kerrville, Texas, which you can read about in these posts: one, two, and three.

I rather doubt my future residency program will excuse me for a week of vacation next summer, so soon after starting (July 1, 2016), but hopefully every year after that I can return. These are my people! And Camp is a very special place on earth, where campers and volunteers can achieve their maximum potential.

Wheelchair-accessible chapel.

*The word was orange, of course, because it has no rhyme!

Monday, July 20, 2015

What Medical School Looks Like XIX

Sometimes medical school looks like healthcare volunteers wearing silly things on their heads to amuse their campers (and themselves) while giving medications.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

One Night in San Antonio

This July, I spent a night in San Antonio and treated myself to an evening of touristy things: the River Walk, The Alamo, the Tower of the Americas. San Fernando Cathedral (left) was founded in 1731 and is the oldest continuously functioning religious community in the state of Texas. The Cathedral building has the added distinction of being the oldest standing church building in Texas (~280 years). For almost 95 years, San Fernando served as the church for all of the religious denominations of San Antonio, as the Catholic Church was the only recognized religion of the Spanish and Mexican governments prior to Texas' independence in 1836. When I stopped by in the early evening a mass was going on, so I just snapped a photo of the remains of the Alamo defenders, which were re-interred in the entranceway.

A marble slab to the side reads: "Here lie the remains of Travis, Crockett, Bowie and other Alamo heroes. The Archdiocese of San Antonio erected this memorial May 11 A.D. 1938 R.I.P. Formerly buried in the sanctuary of the old San Fernando Church. Exhumed July 28, 1937. Exposed to public view for a year. Entombed May 11, 1938."

I meandered along the River Walk until I found a likely seafood place for dinner (shrimp and root beer) before setting off on foot to The Alamo.

I arrived shortly before closing time. One's first impression, of course, is how small the compound is now. It used to be much larger. I wandered into the restored shell of the church where the last stand was stood. Inside were glass cases filled with objects: a rifle, a powder horn, a watch, a spoon. The crowd wound single-file through these reliquaries. I don't think they knew why they were there. I didn't understand either, but the guide at the 3-D model was very passionate about the brave resistance the out-numbered band put up, all in the name of freedom! It was a fight they lost, remember.

Freedom from what? I circled the gardens outside the church and nearly turned to leave, when I noticed a long low barracks building, now a museum. I had just missed the last film showing of the day, but the exhibits explained, in impressive detail, the history of the Texas Revolution (1835-1836): how the Mexican government had invited Americans to populate the area, and then how the immigrants revolted against the increasingly centralist government in Mexico City. The revolutionaries disagreed amongst themselves whether they should return to the more federalist Mexican Constitution of 1824 or break away entirely. With the help of enthusiastic fighters from north of the border, The Republic of Texas was finally declared in 1836. Mexico refused to recognize the rogue nation, and its annexation to the United States in 1845 precipitated the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

The 750-foot-tall (above right) Tower of the Americas was built in 1966. It has a glass elevator to an observation deck with a museum of Texas history as well as a 3D movie show about Texas, complete with special effects and fancy moving theater seats. My favorite part was the video that played outside the theater, describing the eight geographical regions of the state: Gulf Coast, South Texas Plains, Big Bend, Panhandle, Hill Country, Prairies and Lakes, and Pineywoods. My least favorite part was the thing that whipped between our ankles like a rattlesnake!

Toys for Adults at the Art Institute of Chicago

I recently had to take a big medical exam in Chicago. The test would take all day, so I took the train up the day before and stayed in a hotel near the testing center so I could study and not worry about arriving late. However, once I discovered BBC America was playing a Star Trek—Next Generation marathon, little studying happened. The big day went fine, and after picking up my bags from the hotel, I hopped on the L into downtown, where I met Dear Husband at a different hotel. Located in a “historic” building one block from Millennium Park, our room was small, with a window-unit air conditioner, questionable internet, and no mini-fridge. We were paying for location, location, location.

Dear Husband had been cooling his heels since his train arrived and wanted to go out, do something. So we shared an entrée from the Thai restaurant under the hotel before heading out to the Art Institute of Chicago. The last time we were in the Windy City, our flight to San Francisco had been delayed, so we concocted a mini-religious arts tour to amuse ourselves before flying out the next morning. As luck would have it, we were once again at AIC on a Thursday evening = free admission for Illinois residents! Neither a little rain nor a thick line damped our enthusiasm.

Once inside, we took advantage of the breadth of the Institute’s collections, starting with the Paperweight Collection. (Yes, you read that right.) Arthur Rubloff made such a major hobby of collecting these blobs of glass, that he was able to donate 1,200 to the AIC, and there is a whole room devoted to the various styles, from abstract mosaics of color to be-dew-dropped roses to little insects captured within the glass orbs. As you may remember, I am a sucker for art glass. Still I found most of the designs--made in the nineteenth century--to be crude.

Next door is the Thorne Miniatures galleryNarcissa Niblack Thorne (1882-1966) had researched home furnishings in Europe (France, Germany) from 1275 to the mid-1900s, and in America (Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine) from the 1700s to the mid-1900s. Essentially doll-house rooms with historical accuracies, the dioramas made for interesting comparisons and many instances of “I spy.” DH liked to point out the various musical instruments and whether they were anachronistic. I delighted in finding details such as portraits or firescreens.

Finally, before the AIC closed for the day, we explored the small Muslim gallery. Panels there explained common influences in Islamic art, from calligraphy and arabesques to geometrical patterns and even figurative designs. The next day we tackled the Field Museum, sunned/swam at the lakeshore, ate dinner at a diner, and then watched a Second City show. Because I was going to be too busy in August around the time of our anniversary, this counted as our annual Midwest trip. We celebrated our first anniversary with Second City, too--and here's proof!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Erasmus Galileo (7/3/1998-7/7/2015)

Ever the erudite cat--you even kept a blog for a while--you were named for two old dead white men: Erasmus and Galileo: Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536), who is said to have been the last person to know everything there was to know [in Europe], and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who supposedly conducted gravitational experiments by dropping objects off the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Only your experiments involved drinking glasses and the edges of counters and tables. I only recently learned that "Erasmus" means "beloved" in Latin. It is a fitting name, for you were--are--dearly loved.

You had many names and nicknames, and you answered to none of them. (Although you would come trotting if I made "kissy" noises. You knew that meant chicken, or tuna, or pets.) 
Our furry child
Die Katze
The Inspector
Lil Buddy
Pretty Kitty
Kitty Cat

I was a complete sucker for the "paw over the eyes" position.

Daddy took this one. He thought you were so funny trying to chew up the Christmas tree.

Hold still for a family portrait--oop!
So much for a photo Christmas card.

I think we are studying French for Reading here. Yeah, that's it.

The older/dirtier the water in your dish, the farther out into the walkway
it would move, until I couldn't help but trip over it (literally).

With the way you nested in clothes, the paper recycling, or Daddy's coat thrown on the couch,
I sometimes wondered whether you were part bird. (Don't take that the wrong way.)

Tabby Cat as Conch Shell. That paw, though!

A squirrel was feasting on the innards of my jack-o-lantern.
Little did it know that a great predator was watching from above...

Typical Sunday afternoon at our place: I'm working, the boys are napping.

Now that you are not here anymore, I feel like I will have to change the way I do...everything now. No one greets me (or trips me) at the bedroom door when I get up in the morning. I can leave the bathroom door open, because you're not there to whine for a drink from the tap. I don't have to change your water before getting down on the floor to brush you while listening to the morning news on the radio. I can't tell you to "be good while I'm gone" or "watch the house for us" when we leave, and I won't have to step over where you have flopped on the floor for a belly rub when we return. I can leave a glass of water on the floor by my chair and not worry you'll stick your face in it or knock it over. Heck, we can even leave cups and mugs by the edge of the counter, and they will be right where we left them. I can sit on any chair in the house I want, because you are not laying claim to any of them anymore. I can actually work with my laptop on my lap, because you're not trying to sit there. When it's hot out, I can wear shorts without a second thought about how you can't stand to sit on bare human skin. When it's cold out, I can round the corner into the hall without worrying about tripping over you, curled up against the wall next to the furnace. It was clever of you to find the warmest spot in the house! I can have flowers on the table instead of up on a shelf, out of your reach. I can bring my spider plants inside over the winter without having to lock you out of the study, lest you nibble on the "salad bar" and promptly throw up. (It's raining while I type this, and I have to stop myself from wondering whether the ambient noise includes you smacking your lips...or retching. The heavens cried when your great-grandmother died, too.) I can close the blinds on the front windows in the evening without having to leave one up for you to watch "cat tv." Heck, I don't have to shut the bedroom door at night, because you will not be serenading me at 4 am. Anymore. No more litter box, no more orange spit-up staining the carpet, no more cat hair covering the couch. Anymore. No more warm heft in my lap or chirp when you wake up from an afternoon nap or soft fur under my fingers. Anymore. You were beautiful in life and still beautiful in death. I am sorry your body gave out before your spirit did. You are beloved, you magnificent creature.

~Signed, "Mom"

Monday, July 6, 2015

A 21st-century medical student's vade mecum

In the Middle Ages, physicians didn't have smart phones or tablets to help them remember important but random bits of information. Instead, they used a small book called a vade mecum (literally, "go with me"). When I "re-entered" medical school last summer, I didn't have a smart phone either, and I wanted a way to collect the hundreds of facts I would be acquiring as I entered the wards and clinics. So I decided to buy myself a little book. The idea was that I would keep it in my white coat pocket for easy reference. However, all the small booklets in the store were drab and ugly. I didn't want to hate looking at my little book for the next 2-3 years. So I bought a slightly larger one with a snazzy cover and four colors of pages. It doesn't fit in my pocket due to the metal spine, so it has lived either in my bookbag or on my desk. Some clerkships have lent themselves to using it more than others (internal medicine and family medicine, yes; Ob/Gyn and surgery, not so much). Now that I am studying for my next round of board exams, I keep it next to me, more to write things down in order to commit them to memory than to jog my memory when answering questions.

Blue is for pathology. On the left in purple are leukemias. On the right in red is Multiple Myeloma: "Bone pain + anemia = MM until proven otherwise."

Red is for clinical pearls and best-practice guidelines.These heart murmurs are differentiated by color, too: green for systolic murmurs and purple for diastolic murmurs.

Grey is for "Miscellaneous," including dermatology, pediatrics, and anatomy. Here I have drawn the musculature of the eye and the major tracts of the spinal cord. "Head trauma can stretch cranial nerve IV, but increased intracranial pressure is more likely to affect cranial nerve VI."

Green is for pharmacology. (I was thinking of Mr. Yuck!) From this catalog of Drugs and Their Antidotes: "Arsenic poisoning smells like garlic and presents with seizures and nausea, vomiting, diarrhea."

Friday, July 3, 2015

What Medical School Looks Like XVIII

Sometimes medical school looks like a cool summer afternoon on the front porch of the public library discussing diagnoses and workups with a friend and colleague.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

What Do Library Science, History, & Civil Engineering Have in Common? On Location Part 1 of 2

Editor's Note: Over the years long-time readers will have noticed that I frequently refer to the campus faith group with which Dear Husband and I celebrate holidays (some religious, some not), play games, and do arts and crafts. We are an eclectic group of "graduate students and like-minded persons" who meet weekly during the academic year to discuss books or videos. During the summer we sometimes offer alternative programming. This year, we are visiting our respective buildings around campus to learn about each other's research. Here is a sampling of the visits thus far.

The first week, a recent graduate of the library school took the group to the Rare Book Room to marvel at unique texts--such as a 1976 draft of the Star Wars script in which Luke Skywalker is still named "Luke Starkiller"--and very old ones, such as a book from the Cavagna Collection, Per la facciata del Duomo di Milano (ca. 1657) (below). This collection of opinions about architectural renovations to Milan's cathedral has what amounts to the papermaker's version of a footprint in fresh concrete: a handprint made while the paper was still wet. You can see more images, learn about making paper in the early modern period, and read about the Milanese cathedral blueprints in this blog post.

I led the next tour, representing history. We traipsed through four of the five stories of the big old building that houses my department. In one of my old classrooms, we stopped to do an exercise I learned in a German course and have used to good effect in history classes: we put up pictures on the walls and "visited a gallery." This gallery had portraits of Jesus: Jesus looking holy in Warner Sallman's ubiquitous "Head of Christ," Jesus teaching in a Rembrandt, and Jesus doing both at the same time in the Christ Pantocrator (Christ the Savior) icon from the 6th century... Check out the  picture above. The right side of his face is calm, and he lifts his hand in a gesture of blessing and teaching. The left side of his face is stern, and he carries a heavy Bible for instruction. This particular image is the oldest version of a common Orthodox icon and can be found in Saint Catherine's Monastery near Mount Sinai in Egypt. Then we went out for ice cream.

Finally, the group went to the civil engineering building, where we started by ogling the cranes, earthquake simulation center, and concrete canoes. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Our guide showed us the special material he studies with a super-high-tech microscope that can zoom in reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaallllly close to the surface of a specimen. He uses a diamond to stress the material, measures various parameters, and develops models for understanding these things. Then we went out for Indian food.

It turns out that what Library Science, History, and Civil Engineering have in common are graduate students excited about their research and eager to share it to build a community of faith. Check back later for more summer tours!