I had been introduced to Mr. X once before, to request permission to sit in on his Kapa Haka class about Māori culture. The introduction began with Mr. X staring sternly and intently through my eyes and into my soul for an abnormally long amount of time, was followed by an uncomfortable laughter, and concluded with a brief "you can sit in on my class."
They always say the grass is greener on the other side, I just never realized by "other side" they literally meant the other side of the world. The grass is very green in New Zealand. And the sky very blue. And the people very friendly. And the PhD in poi off to a very good start. After a month of settling in, it was finally time to learn how to spin poi. Māori style.
I realized one day, as my sister and I casually discussed the future of our lives, that there was a deadline for this vague idea I'd had for years about going back to school. And that deadline was based on something completely meaningless to me, yet very important to the process...the GRE.
The pieces were all falling into place. The speech was written (and re-written. and re-written again). The Orbitar glove cables had a freshly sharpied black coat. Jordan, the Max MSP musical guru, had arrived from Texas to help flesh out the TED performance. We were experimenting. We were rehearsing. We were staring at computer screens, a lot. We were... Orbitar-ing.