San Diego NAFSA

I am finally getting around to writing up my notes, a few weeks late. I went to San Diego for the NAFSA conference. I usually would not attend such a thing, but this was the last time I would have to be with some of our Brazilian friends and my final attempt to help make sustainable connections between U.S. and Brazilian educational institutions.

Most of my work consisted of meeting people and attending receptions. I know that most people consider this a perk of the job but believe me when I say that is work for me. I enjoy talking to people; I even like public speaking. But going to reception is less fun for me than writing reports. I don’t like and don’t do well with the small-talk. But I recognize the importance of being there so I was where I could see and be seen.

I cannot complain about being in San Diego, however. It is a pleasant place and I had a pleasant time. I stayed on Coronado Island. It is right across from the Convention Center, where the NAFSA meeting was held. You catch a ferry to get there. It costs only $4.25 and takes only about five minutes. It would have been a little more convenient to stay in the hotel actually at the convention center, but not very much and the hotels there cost a lot more. None of them were available for the per-diem rate. Anyway, I liked the idea of commuting by ferry. It is a very civilized way to go.

Coronado Island is a delightful place. It would be a little too neat for my liking to live there permanently but it is really nice to visit. There is a bike/walk/run trail along the ocean. My hotel had a view of the bay. I walked almost all the way across the island my first morning there. I had to do laundry and evidently there is only one Laundromat on the island. The guy at the hotel said that they could send it out for me, but I am not going to pay a couple dollars to wash a t-shirt. Anyway, it was a nice walk. Because of jet-lag I work up really early and started in the pre-dawn twilight. The place seemed very safe. There are a lot of retired U.S. Navy folks around and they tend to be orderly and peaceful.

My main “problem” and my excuse for not writing in real time is that my computer charger died. I could not find a new one anywhere in town where I could walk. They all have the equipment for telephones. So after the battery went dead, I was w/o computer for a couple days. It is strange how you become accustomed to computers. I wrote in my notebook and I do enjoy actual writing, but it is a very different experience. I think I am more open and honest with myself on paper, since I am pretty sure nobody, probably not even I will ever read it. But on those occasions when I do read, I find it more banal, maybe because it is harder to cancel a line and rewrite with pen and ink than to insert or delete with the computer.

My pictures show the convention center.  Next is the Brazilian section.  They let me hang out there.   The next two pictures show the ferry landing and the ferry.  The next picture is taken from my room.  You can see the convention center across the water and why it is an easy water commute.  Finally is a big fruit boat.