14 Days in Washington

I have been here at the University of Washington Bothell for exactly two weeks. After almost 40 years in the middle of Arizona and 20 working in high school and community college environments, I am now in a damper & greener locale and fixed within a pretty darn massive university system.

I drove up from Arizona with my bike and two boxes of clothes. The day I arrived, and for the following three or four days, records were set for high temperatures in the Seattle area. It was pretty amazing. Mostly blue skies and warm days. I rode my bike along the Sammamish River and biked to work a couple of days. I am renting a room till July when the rest of the family will move up and it is a short 2.5 mile commute to the university. Most of it, is along the river.

The first weekend I ended up taking a bike ride to the University of Washington Seattle campus. It took about an hour and a half to get there and much of the ride was along Lake Washington. It was another sunny day and the weather was perfect for a ride. A lot of other people must have thought so too as I must have passed 5,000 people over the course of the ride. The Burke Gilman trail is wonderful and it is a trip I’ll make many more times.

Work here is wonderful. I am still getting to know the buildings and the places to go. Much of the first week was getting oriented and procedural. Getting email, insurances, and getting some fancy technology. I am going to be a Mac guy for a bit.

The people are great. I work with a team of five others. One is the manager/director, there is a media specialist, an e-learning specialist, an ed-tech specialist, and a faculty member who has the title of Chief E-learning Strategist. Pretty interesting.

Last week, my second week I spent an hour on a panel discussing Universal Design in higher education. Then, the next day I went to the Seattle campus and spent all day in an accessibility “capacity building” event. Lots of folks from various parts of the university looking to gain wider adoption of accessibility within the school.

I have met a number of faculty and spent a few great hours talking with faculty at the Teaching & Learning center here.

As I sit here now writing, this is my view. The team just moved into a new larger office. I bought four plants for us as there were none.

This past weekend I took a 50 minute bus ride to downtown Seattle and visited Pike’s Market and took a ferry out to Bainbridge Island.

Yesterday, I went on my first mountain bike ride in the dirt. I drove about 6 miles to the Paradise Valley Nature Park. It was sunny and warm and the trails were fun. Very different from Arizona soils and limited visibility as there are lots of ferns and bushes along the trail.

It has been both a fast and slow two weeks. I miss my wife and kids. A lot.

I am excited to have them all here and to start living as a whole with them.

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34 Responses to 14 Days in Washington

  1. chris heyer says:

    Wow! It’s gorgeous, Todd. We miss you already – nice office!

  2. Stacey Hilton says:

    Todd, I’ve been thinking about you and sending good vibes your way. You’re living the dream and your family is going to love it! Glad everything is going well.

  3. thatchmo says:

    That teaching and learning house is too cool. I want to work from there.

    • Todd Conaway says:

      It is a really nice old farm house and it even has a beautiful flower garden out front. A big flower garden!

  4. Randy Russell says:

    Todd — Congratulations. Happy to hear. All the best. –Randy (Canvas) Russell

  5. Mark Luffman says:

    So cool Todd… Glad to hear that you are getting settled in. We will be in to Seattle-Tacoma KOA on May 31st and then to Washington Park in Anacortes on June 2-4. Hope to see you! Trip to Boston starts on June 4th…

    • Todd Conaway says:

      I hope to see you! The university is right between Seattle and Anacortes.

  6. Paul Ewing says:

    Great stories, great visions! Keep them coming! I’ve checked the box for “notify me of new posts by email” Enjoy your brand new life, Todd!

    • Todd Conaway says:

      I am enjoying the place. And the people. I feel lucky. Of course, I always have 🙂

  7. Lori Riden says:

    Todd it seems that it was such a fast move to have you leave – miss you. It also looks absolutely beautiful there right now. So. Much. Green!

  8. Selina Bliss says:

    The pictures are worth a thousand words! It is good to know you are getting along without us. You are missed, but you left a legacy.

    Ride on,

    Selina B

  9. Marie Hardman says:

    Thank you for keeping in touch Todd. It looks green and wet. Enjoy the trees! Nice University too. I think you are moving up in the world. Stay grounded.

  10. Molly Beauchman says:

    It looks beautiful there – glad you’re able to get out and ride and enjoy the area. Very happy for you:)

  11. Todd!!! Blessings to you, my friend.

  12. Michael Davis says:


  13. dotcomYOGA says:

    Awesome!!! So happy for you Todd!!! You went for it, and the Universe opened up for you. – dotcomYOGA 🙂

  14. Sandy Johnson says:

    I’m so sorry I missed your going away gathering…I bet it was a doozy!..Who’s gonna help me with my camera issues and grade book issues….oh hell…I’ll just miss you! period.Thank you for all your help through these years.
    May you and your family enjoy the weather and the beautiful forest and ocean. God Bless

    • Todd Conaway says:

      I am missing the wonderful people there. You are welcome. I have been lucky to be able to help!

  15. matt says:

    Glad it’s going well! I expect pictures from the summit of Rainier soon!

    • Todd Conaway says:

      That mountain is soooo huge. It looks fake. I have seen it several times on walks, runs, and bike rides. Maybe the Muir Hut sometime.

  16. Lisa says:

    We miss you at Yavapai. Enjoy your new adventures in life

  17. Lisa Simpson-kyle says:

    It looks beautiful there — enjoy your new adventure in life!

  18. Lisa M Lane says:

    It’s funny — those of us who know you primarily (or exclusively) online will see little change. We won’t have to miss anything (online chats, joining crazy MOOCs). We can share frustrations, and laughs, and information just as we did before. Gives a new importance to those online connections. 🙂