I spent last week in Berkeley. My finishing talk was the first joint demography and biology seminar at Berkeley in at least 30 years, possibly ever. I closed with an appeal for the demographers and the biologists to talk to each other more. Evolution is the source of many ultimate explanations in demography, and demography has extremely important methods and insights for understanding evolution in age-structured populations. There was a good discussion, with the demographers and biologists both asking questions, and even talking to each other. Then I spent a couple of days fighting my way through the bureaucracy surrounding the filing of dissertations. I filed, cleaned out my office, packed up my stuff and missed my plane east. I went standby, got to my parents' house at 5AM the next day, spent a day with the family. Then we rushed to the airport only to find that our flight to Germany was canceled because the flight attendants are on strike. Air Berlin assures us we will get to fly today, but in the mean time we are in the JFK Holiday Inn. Being stuck here has given me my first chance to stop and reflect on the fact that:
1. I am now Dr. Daniel Levitis, Ph.D.
2. I am moving to Germany.
3. After nursery school, kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, high school, college and grad school, 22.5 years of schooling in all, I am no longer a student. Being a student was getting pretty old anyway.
4. I am starting a new job very soon, and don't know exactly what I will be doing.
5. I am on vacation for the next few weeks.
Time to go see if our flight will happen today. Posting may be sporadic until I am ensconced somewhere.