I found out today that I am PQed, or physically qualified, to go to Antarctica. That means I can go back to doing all those unhealthy things like eating fatty foods, drinking caffeine, and … well I guess there’s not much else (and lets be honest, I never stopped doing those things in the first place). It is a relief to be done with though–I started the PQing process over a month ago! I should be getting my plane tickets from the travel people in a few weeks. I’ve read most of the USAP Participant Guide and have talked to everyone in my lab whose been to the ice before, but I still don’t feel ready. My flight out is in 36 days.
I don’t even feel like I have time to prepare either. Every day I’m either at work or off doing something. There is this constant push to get data on the wedges so that we’ll know as much as possible about the detectors before putting them in the telescope. I get the feeling that I’ll be testing wedges up until the day I get on the plane.
My life is fairly intense–every night I’m either working late or at the rock gym or off in the wilderness. I’ve heard that at the Pole everyone keeps insane hours because the sun never goes down, so no one ever feels like going to sleep. If it’s as intense as everyone says it is, I bet it will feel just like home. I must have some sort of hyperactive personality or something.
If you want a postcard from Antarctica, e-mail me your address. I think I can send postcards… are there postcards of Antarctica?