April 11, 2001

4/11/01 Virginia Beach VA

Well, the adventure sure began today! My layover on the way from DALLAS to NORFOLK was delayed for over 20 minutes so maintenance could repair a bathroom door on the plane. But more on that later.

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a class with some of the most enthusiastic grad students I have ever met. It was a women's studies class on environment and community issues. After each student told me a little bit about themselves, they had a hard time containing their excitement about the projects they were working on such as a skate park for neighborhood kids and a heritage center near a long stretch of greenway. Patricia, this year's scholarship recipient, was in this class along with all the other applicants for this years award. I could very well understand the committee's difficulty in choosing between these students, they were all deserving. It makes this ride more meaningful because now I'm not only riding for Nancy, but also for these wonderful women.

After the long stop-and-go trip to the airport, Doug dropped me off. I flew the first leg to Virginia in a cool, medium size jet (about 15 rows of 3 seats). A very smooth ride for this smaller plane. But afte going to the rest-room, I found the door securely jammed. No matter what I did, I couldn't budge the door. As I laughed at my situation, I wondered if I would have to remain on the toilet till we landed. I pushed the stewardess call button and waited for an embarrassing rescue. But even she couldn't get it open. Finally, between the two of us, we literally broke the door off it's hinges. After they landed, they advised all passengers to use the rest-room before boarding but maintenance must have felt they could fix the broken door. Hence the flight delay of over 20 minutes. I wonder how that fits in the FAA statistics!