Monday, March 06, 2006

Boston - Day One

I have completed Day One of my last doctoral residency at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. I thought I would use this space to let you know how things are progressing up here.

I left Charlotte around 11:30 AM Sunday morning. The flight was packed – not an empty seat on the plane. There was one beside of me until the very last person boarding said, “Excuse me.” However, she had her pillow already out and was sleeping before takeoff. I was just getting over the flu/bronchitis doubleshot so I tried to get some sleep as well but my head was too congested to allow it. This led to a massive headache that only got worse when I landed around 1:20 PM.

I grabbed my bag off the return carousel and boarded the Hertz bus to grab my car. That’s always an exciting event – “Which car will I get?” In 2004, I got an Impala, a nice car made nicer by XM Radio. Last year, I got a four-wheel drive Pontiac Pacifica, made nicer with XM Radio and an in-dash navigation system. That GPS saved my bacon more than once in the crazy Boston traffic. I was all excited to see what vehicle God ordained for me to drive but He must be teaching me humility – I got a Ford Taurus. A brand new Ford Taurus with only 800 miles but who gets excited about a Taurus?

After two trips to Boston, I still have no idea how to get out of the massive Logan Airport. I was just blindly following signs and cannot tell anyone how to get back there but there were signs pointing me towards Hwy 1-A over to Hwy 1 (the same Hwy 1 that goes through Raleigh).

I finally made it to my hotel – a Residence Inn by Marriott (click on "view all photos" and then "Suite with fireplace"). Very nice accommodations. You enter into a sitting area with couch, chair and a working fireplace. Beyond that is the bed – a huge kingsize model. As you enter, to the left behind the couch is a desk with separates the den from the kitchen. The kitchen has a full-sized fridge with stove, microwave and dishwasher. To the left of the bed is a small hall-way that holds a closet and opens to a changing room with a door to the bathroom. All in all – a very nice getaway.

I was pretty despressed when I got here – I think I was the first one here. My head hurt and I just generally felt horrible. I called Ambra and that helped for a moment and then made it worse when we hung up. I do not see how people who travel for a living handle it. I couldn’t do it. I took a two hour nap.

For the third straight year, I ate dinner alone at Kelly’s Roast Beef – allegedly the birthplace to the roast beef sandwich. I guess before these guys in 1951, NO ONE had ever put roast beef on a slice of bread before. Regardless, it’s good and it kind of makes me feel at home. A quick trip to Wal-Mart secured me the Sudafed Sinus medicine to alleviate my headache. Back at the hotel, I was quickly bored and went to bed a little after 9:00 PM.

I awoke every hour on the hour between midnight and seven in the morning, just as I have done every other first night in Boston. Must be the nervousness. My car has a timer on it so I turned it on – my daily drive is fourteen miles and it takes 22 minutes in some pretty hectic traffic.

The first three hours of the first class was just going around and letting everyone talk about what has happened in their life since the last residency in March 2005. It was good to hear all my classmates (all 25 of them – all returned with no drop-outs, which is pretty rare for this type work).

After lunch (teriyaki wings), we spent the next three hours in class going over what we are going to try to accomplish in this residency and in the major thesis that is coming when I get home.

I just got back in from dinner with Steve and John (two guys from Idaho) and Bryan (a preacher from Nebraska). We went to Tennessee BBQ, another local favorite of ours. Now it is 6:50 PM and I am waiting til 8:00 PM when Bryan comes over to watch the two-hour special presentation of “24.” I talked Bryan into watching it last year and he got hooked and hasn’t missed a show since. John and Steve just don’t understand.


Chuck said...


Andy said...

Chuck drives a Tarus and he's a cool guy. You should have just driven on Hwy 1 from Raleigh and saved yourself a lot of trouble. If it means anything to you I'm sure Bruce misses you. Well, study hard up there, we don't want you flunking out or anything. Maybe you could pick up a Fantasy Baseball mag or something in order to pass the time. Couldn't hurt.

Bruce Roberts said...

Maybe I do miss, Jeff. What's it to you, Andy? And I must agree with Chuck. I really liked that Edgar. Remember when he stayed at work during Season 4 and had to work through finding out that his mother died in whatever terrorist attack was unleashed then? I've watched every episode of every season of 24 since September so they've all run together and I get mixed up on which terrorists were attacking with what method.