Friday, September 11, 2009

JUST jet-lag? That's for the weak

I found out this week when the European defense is, that I will be an external examiner for. December 1. No problem, except for the fact that I am returning from a family Thanksgiving vacation on Nov 30th.

At 2:00 pm.

That means the only way for me to make this all work out is if I fly in with my family, say goodbye to my wife and daughter as they drive home and hop on a red eye to Europe. The best available flight gets into my destination just before 10:00 am on the 1st and the defense is at 2:00 pm that afternoon.

Oh, and did I mention that it's in a non-English language?

My ability to sleep on a plane is drastically hampered by my height, so I should be good and sleep deprived with a solid helping of jet lag. I'm guessing that falling asleep during a defense that one is an external for is bad form. Is there enough coffee in the world to keep me awake for this? Hard to say.

13 comments:

  1. oh, sounds a bit gruesome but doable.... maybe see if you can upgrade to first class? I mean, I know it is silly expensive but boy I think even you being a tall man an sleep in the foldoutsleepingchairs... good luck though! (and I am a bit curious if it is in Scandinavia? Sometimes they like the external examiner to give a smaller seminar on the topic of the dissortation. Surely they would've told you that n ow though.)

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  2. I think it'll be alright, but I may not be in top form for the talk. I am giving a lecture later in the week, but it is not on the same topic as the defense.

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  3. Oh my god! Mate, that fucking sucks! Rohypnol yourself on the flight...

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  4. Ugh.

    Reminds me of a former colleague who got off a flight from the Caribbean (where he'd just got married) and straight onto another one to India (for a work trip). He said "it wasn't as bad as it sounds - after I checked in for the India flight, I had time for a shower and a cry at the airport".

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  5. But that European coffee is soo strong! :)

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  6. Gah - that sounds awful! Should be doable as long as the plane isn't delayed :S

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  7. Can you get a hold of some Halcion tablets. Down one and snooze like a baby for like 4 hours on the flight and you'll be good to go. I did it on a flight to South America and was feeling pretty fresh when I stepped off the plane.

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  8. Emergency Exit Row seats have slightly more leg room. Hopefully, you have plenty of sleep-inducing turkey leftovers with you!! jc

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  9. I always get aisle seats on the big-ass jumbos but I'm not very tall and can almost get horizontal on one seat. Ask for a seat on an exit row or if you're on a big-ass jumbo get a seat behind the bulkhead near the galley.

    And keep your fingers crossed that you don't have any hitches with your connecting flights on the way.

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  10. I try and get the exit aisle seats but some airlines are now booking them ahead of time, just charging more for them. Maybe I will just book it ahead of time and eat the extra cost for some comfort.

    I just have one flight between vacation and home, then one connection between home and European destination. That shouldn't be too ugly, I'm hoping. Of course, with my travel luck....

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  11. One of my committee members fell asleep during the seminar part of my defense. And it was in a really small room, and he was sitting *right* next to me. I was too nervous to be insulted at the time, and now I just find it funny.

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  12. I will provide a poking stick that can be used by other committee members or the candidate, should I succumb to sleeping.

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