After sustaining days of hurricane-force winds and torrential rains, Houston has held up pretty well. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the Texas gulf coast, much of which may have been dealt a fatal blow. In Houston there is still debris all over the streets–mostly fallen trees/limbs, but also a significant amount of glass from shattered windows and material from signs and buildings. Many traffic lights are still without power and that is causing serious traffic congestion.
Still, the city stood up well to a direct hit and for many it’s almost back to business as usual. We have power at my house, although unfortunately still no Internet. The Rice alumni office is letting me camp out with them during the daytime so I can check in online every once in awhile. One thing that has NOT changed about Houston is the heat (90 degrees F today) and humidity (70% today) so I’m thankful that we at least have A/C at home.
It’s fun driving a car again for the first time in 9 months. Directing the 270 horses in my convertible feels somehow very . . . empowering. It’s a nice feeling of control after 9 months of feeling more reactive to everything the professors throw at us–not to mention the complete ignorance of where my career search will lead!
I had lunch today with Vanessa Kellogg, a Rice alum at Horizon Wind Energy, to discuss the particulars of the wind generation industry. She was very, very helpful so I think the least I can do is plug her book on wind energy: Wind the World Over. Talking with people like Vanessa renews my faith that we WILL find a solution (or solutionS) to the world’s energy woes.
Meanwhile it feels good to be back. As I look out the alumni office window onto the grounds of Rice’s Lovett Hall and main academic quad, I’m pleased to see that the old live oaks survived the storm well and that the campus is as beautiful as ever. I feel at peace and I feel at home. Now I need to stop feeling so peaceful and get my career search into gear!