Returning to duty this time was a lot different than was reporting for duty last May. At that time, I had no idea as to exactly how long I would be gone, and I wasn't sure what would be waiting for me when the plane touched down. Neither of those uncertainties exist this time around. I'll be back here for twenty-six days before I get to take leave again, and it'll be three very hard weeks leading up to the comprehensive exam on 26 January. Then four days of "Prevent" (some kind of values training/character development) before graduation on the 30th.
Weather-wise, I got out of New York just in time. The temperature was in the mid-seventies when I touched down in Charleston, and reached those levels again this afternoon. The daytime highs will drop as the week goes on, but only into the high 40's to mid 50's (not 20 °F, as Northport is expected to experience).
Most of the stuff I've learned over the last few months is coming back to me fairly easily. Some of it may take some more time though.
Quick commentary on the whole college football brouhaha. I did see Southern Cal turn in a fine performance against Michigan in the Rose Bowl; I did not get to see LSU pull through against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Having read a lot about the latter game, my gut tells me that if I had a vote I would vote USC as final No. 1. They just seemed like too much for anybody, especially in the second half of the season.