Dallas travelblog: Success already, since no blown engine
My OU-Texas odyssey started with a rousing success. We made it all the way to Dallas on Wednesday without blowing an engine.
We’re one-under par.
A year ago, remember, the engine on our 2008 Mazda blew an engine on Interstate 35 in suburban Lewisville. That CX-9 was a great car. But its time had come, so we spent the rest of the weekend piecing together transportation. Hitching rides. Renting a car. Riding with our daughter and son-in-law.
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This year, our new Toyota Highlander got us all the way in to the downtown Omni, despite some backup. I-35 south of the OKC metro is a constant crapshoot with construction, and Wednesday it hit us south of Pauls Valley, where repavement caused about a 25-minute slowdown. I’m told there will be no construction the rest of the week. Let’s hope that’s so.
Trish the Dish and I go down on Wednesday every year, because she puts on the OU College of Engineering dinner annually every year. It’s a great event and I’ve met a ton of friends from the Dallas area. OU alumni who have been in Dallas for decades but still feel a huge affinity with the university.
For the last decade or so, the dean of engineering has asked me to speak at the dinner, during dessert, and I always enjoy that. And the highlight of the evening always is the student speakers. Wednesday night, engineering’s representative, Asian-American Noelle Vargas, talked about coming from Latta High School and being motivated to help diversify engineering. Then Payton Duggan, Forrest Dyer and Emmanuel Akita from the College of Earth & Energy talked about winning the international robotics competition in Houston. All very inspiring and fascinating.
I told the crowd. Engineers intimidate me, because while I appreciate all the things that work, I have no idea HOW they work. Sometimes, people with my side of the brain need to be around people from the other side of the brain.
It’s a great kickoff to a great week. It’s fun to get into downtown, out of the traffic, and start soaking up OU-Texas atmosphere. Lots going on the rest of the week. And this year, our car is working.