Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ok, so it's been a little while. Say...a couple of months or so? Well, moving to Arizona, river rafting, learning how to teach, and starting grad school all combined to pretty much dominate my life for a while there.

Speaking of 'dominating', the Astros were getting dominated for most of my absence, only to turn it around and win 20 of their last 25. Who knew? Now we're up 7-1 in Game 1 of a huge series against St. Louis.

For a while there I had pretty much given up on the Astros. The good news? This allowed me to appreciate baseball 'in general', rather than obsessing over one team. And it reinforced my desire to work in the baseball industry. So that's what I'm going to do. Baseball internship this summer, low-level job after my Master's in Stats, and work my way up to GM. Yup: that's the plan.

I really love my new hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona. It's got a (slightly deserved) reputation of a 'liberal mountain hippie town', but it's aaaaaall right anyway. About 50,000 people (half of those are involved with Northern Arizona University in some way), lots of bars, cool restaurants, bike trails (I've driven in my car about five times in the past month...you can bike everywhere), disc golf courses...it's paradise.

But the real reason why I love this place is:


The guys (and girl...just 1) that represent the new class of GTA's (Graduate Teaching Assistants) are insane. And, the best. No, seriously, they are hilarious, outgoing, athletic...here's an example. The GTA coordinator (this tough Nebraskan named Jeff Rushall who's had all the GTA's over to his house for dinner twice) mentions the math department always does a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike in October or November. So now I'm hiking every weekend with two other guys (Frank from NY, Mike from Nashville! the college connection!) just to prepare for the big hike.

Or there's a department picnic, and afterwards all the new GTA's play a round of disc golf (after I begged them to..haha). And of course I win (shot 4-over, not that good but good enough) but some guys are naturals and are talking about playing again soon.

Or there's knotball, a great game we invented that involves a rope tied to a tennis ball that you then have to swing from a knot about halfway up the rope and throw the ball into a trash can. Not the best description, but it's AWESOME. I'm currently 4th out of 9....I'll move up yet.

It's just an amazing group. Think "Scrubs" but with teaching math instead of...saving lives. Not quite as dramatic, maybe, but just about as funny.

Check back more often, if there's even anyone still reading.

And go 'Stros!

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