It has been my intention for some time to bring this blog to a conclusion, but time and other commitments have kept that from occurring. Most study abroad experiences have a very clear end point, when one finally returns to the familiarity of home. However, for the inaugural semester of Bucknell on the Susquehanna, this feeling is not quite so definite.
The Susquehanna River Valley is still very much a part of my daily life now here at Bucknell University, and will continue to be until I graduate. While my time writing for this blog has come to a close, I have high hopes for the next generation of Bucknell on the Susquehanna students, who will pick up, not where we left off, but in a different light and from their own unique angles.
I have the pleasure of knowing all three faculty which will be leading Bucknell on the Susquehanna for Fall of 2011, and I will be working with them on recruitment of new students. It would be impossible wrap up everything that we have done in one word or even 20,000 (I’m not kidding, the total words written on the blog exceed 23,000), but I can definitively say it has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The places we have been, the people we have meet, and the events that we have witnessed first-hand are opportunities that one rarely finds in the classroom, and they place the rest of my education at Bucknell in great perspective between academic knowledge and hands-on experience in the field.
It has been a pleasure to write this, and I am very thankful to the many people who have offered their praise and encouragement. As of October 19, the web editor informed Joanna and myself that the blog was about to pass 1100 hits, of which I am sure no small number of those were me checking how everything looked. Nonetheless, I am pleased to say that the hours late at night I spent working on this, even rushing to post one entry from outside the motel in Rio Del, Calif., while everyone was loading up at 6:30 a.m., were entirely worth it. I am glad to have had the opportunity to share our travels with the world, and hope that it has encouraged some future students to pursue this outstanding program. So until fall, enjoy the beauty that is the natural world (especially if you are privileged to live in the Susquehanna River watershed) and look forward to BotS 2011!
P.S. Obviously, there are more photos than the three or four per week that I shared in this format, so I am trying to bring this account ( http://davidmanthos.shutterfly.com/ ) up to speed with the many photos that I took. The sound of my camera shutter was so frequent that I believe I may have just slightly irritated a few people with it, but I believe the end justified the means. As of last count, I have around 900 to go online, but that will take some time.
I intend to continue writing a blog, and though on a more personal level, it will still tie very closely with my academic interests and travels. If you wish to follow, I expect to post at least once a week at this address: http://allwoodsmustfail.blogspot.com/
If the title seems out of character, I assure you, it’s not. But you have to read it to understand where I am going with that concept.