Welcome Letter

Hello friends, family, colleagues,

Some of you may know – and some might be surprised to learn, that I’m currently living in Brisbane, Australia. For those lacking knowledge of geography Down Under – I was a member of that club until recently, Brisbane is approximately halfway down the East Coast of Australia, just four degrees south of the Tropic of Capricorn, a bustling, growing, modern metropolis, known for tourism, classic Queenslander architecture, and the 2001 Goodwill Games, the final round of a now defunct Olympics alternative. Not that I would have known that last bit without Wikipedia. Fortunately, this query also resolved a daily puzzle; I walk over Goodwill Bridge each morning on my way to work and used to wonder how it got its name.

Some of you probably also know, and some might be surprised to learn, that I’m also in the midst of the long, occasionally arduous mental journey of getting a PhD. For those lacking knowledge of  academic geography, a PhD is a set of letters given to those individuals who stay in school long past the optimal ratio of academic hours to financial return. The task is often undertaken for a conspicuously strong devotion to scholarship — reading, writing, and other generic research tasks, mixed with a dollop of masochism, and a heap of optimism that your small extension to the breadth of human knowledge is worth it. Facetiousness aside, I’m having a blast studying mechanical engineering, with related studies of ocean engineering and applied math at University of Washington in Seattle. And, no, it’s not that rainy in Seattle Except maybe last winter. Last winter was quite… wet.

As I mentioned, a large component of the PhD is writing, not one of my strongest skills. In a mission to change that, I’m declaring 2017 as Trevor’s Year of Writing. To that end, I’ve built a blog to share reflections on my life in Brisbane. The trip contributes directly to my research, but I’ll get around to telling that story in the blog. Now, a travel journal is a far cry from academic journal, but I’m most immediately interested in training my internal editor to go grab a cocktail and sit at the beach while my fingers bang out a few hundred words in an hour. Because when the foreman’s on the job site, no work gets done in the face of all the contrary shouting.

You’re cordially invited to share this written journey with me. A hefty list of post topics awaits and I’m looking to post at least once per week. Posts will be anywhere from 250 – 1000 words, never longer, so the reading time should be under 15 minutes. I’ll try to include at least one Australian vocabulary word in each post. Note that I’m sharing these rules guidelines hoping you’ll keep me accountable. And please, I invite you to offer feedback, either in comments or by email. Ask questions about the city, life, people. I’d even welcome requests to go, see and do certain activities. No promises, but I’ll at least consider it. I’m also willing to try particular linguistic or literary styles, if you put me up to the challenge. As any good researcher, I’ll give credit to whoever prompts a post.

Without further ado, let the expedition down under begin. Check out the blog here: twhcreations.com

Yours from down under,

Trevor

(p.s. I’d also appreciate recommendations and critiques on the website itself – it’s a work in progress.)

 

Header Image: Australia, courtesy of Google Earth. The gold star marks Brisbane, where I’ll be based for the coming 6 months. 

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