You’d think that leaving a country would be easier than entering it, but you’d be wrong. Somehow when I tried to leave Chile this time around my change in visa status confused the system and I was left at the exit desk of the Chilean immigration part of the airport for a solid 20 minutes while the officer trying to process my exit took my passport with him to go consult some buddies of his. They did let me out, finally, and then as I was getting on the plane from Santiago to Dallas no one even looked at my name or picture on my passport (which I had inadvertently covered with my boarding pass). Not sure what the standard is supposed to be here but neither of those guys nailed it.

The photo here is an awkward one of me in high school with my best friend because I flew home to Delaware mid-November to give a talk at the school for their annual Women’s Network Weekend. It’s a bit of a tough crowd, because in addition to faculty and other alumni there are 300 high school students in the audience on a Friday night that are forced to be there, and keeping them entertained for a full hour when they would rather be anywhere else is a tall order.

My friend Annie and I gave a joint presentation about our lives at St. Andrew’s and in college, as well as a look into our current careers (her as an engineer doing research in cardiac surgery and myself as an engineer for a telescope project). It went relatively well, based on the fact that I didn’t notice any students actively snoring, so if you’re interested here’s a video of the talk. (Skip the introduction by fast-forwarding to 30:10, but then you’ll also miss some choice quotes that were dug up from my application to St. Andrew’s that I wrote in 8th grade, over 13 years ago. Also, sometimes it takes an obnoxiously long time to load, so you’ve been warned.)

It was an honor to be invited to speak, and I love sharing what I’m working on because it’s objectively cool, but the best part was embarrassing one of my best friends who was in my high school class at St. Andrew’s and is now a teacher at the school. You’re welcome, Mr. Rehrig :).