Thursday, August 23, 2007

In Madison, Wisconsin: liberal haven

I've been in Madison for the last 5 days attending the summer residency for my online master's of engineering degree. It's been raining on and off, and it's quite humid. It has been an enjoyable week. My class is a great bunch of people, and the program has been set up well. It's going to be a lot of work, though--20 hours per week is the bare minimum. We've had it pounded into our heads that "we get out of the program what we put in." So, along with the $40,000 tuition price tag, I have extra incentive to work hard.

Since it is dominated by the university and is the state capital, Madison is a haven for liberals and granola types. Recycling bins everywhere, official conservation signs everywhere, and the lesbian-gay-bi-transsexual student club headquarters are in the student union building. Couple that with bars and beer everywhere, and you can tell that it's about as different from BYU as you can imagine. I hung out with many of the guys in my class at one of the local bars for about 3 hours Monday night. Many of them offered to buy me a beer, but I politely declined, so they bought me a Sprite instead.

Sarah has recruited some help from my aunt Sharon to paint the 2 basement rooms that I recently finished. She hopes to have it finished by 9/1. She is considering switching from Gold's Gym to a local family center in West Valley. Nathan is walking all over the place now. He and Loranna are really keeping Sarah busy.

Hope you're all doing well.