Monday, May 9, 2011

Great times in Austin; lessons on the way home

Wonderful to meet up with all sorts of rural people in decidely non-rural Austin, TX. Lots of great ideas exchanged.

Our students, Jordan Mitchell and Tushar Trivedi, presented their work on home health care and metabolic syndrome, respectively. Actually managed to get a photo of Jordan.

Jan wasn't supposed to
participate in any presentations, but rural means helping a neighbor. So when Mike Samuels fell ill and couldn't participate in a border health discussion, Jan filled in for him.

The way home was not full of rural good-spiritedness for one of our students, who was witness to part of the episode in which two Muslim imams were required to leave a Delta airlines flight from Memphis to Charlotte when the pilot refused to fly with them on board []. Ironically, the men were flying to a conference on discrimination against Muslims. The student was present for the men's second screening before being allowed to board a second flight:

Well, the flight they were originally scheduled for was set to depart at 8:10 that morning, we were on their ‘rescheduled’ flight – after the pilot of the original flight kicked them off. Also, if THAT wasn’t bad enough, TSA did a full body pat down (more intense than I have ever seen) and searched all of their luggage at the gate for the afternoon flight.

One could obviously tell that the other passengers were ‘anxious/hesitant’ about their presence. However after I saw them really getting patted down – I felt that their civil liberties were being trashed…

Ending on a more positive note: The bats were great.

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