Flat Stanley's Adventures in Illinois and Mexico

Feb. 20, 2009, Champaign
Dear Caleb,
Flat Stanley arrived yesterday (Thursday afternoon) in the US Mail. Sadly for Flat Stanley, I worked fairly late on Thursday, and he was left to wait for me in the mailbox until almost 9:00pm. As you can guess, he was a bit annoyed with me, and in no mood for going out to see the sights of Champaign. So I put him to bed. I knew he would need his rest for the big day Friday. Friday, Flat Stanley came along for my day at the University of Illinois. He began the day in my class on Probability Theory. Flat Stanley is a pretty friendly fellow, and he quickly made friends with his fellow students. I was pleased that he took a seat in the front of the class. Here's a photo of Flat Stanley in ECE 313. If you click it, you'll see a larger version.

Flat Stanley chose a good day to attend my class. On Friday I taught about conditional probability, including some explanation of conditional expectation for discrete random variables. I thought the math was quite beautiful, and so did Flat Stanley, so I took a photo of the chalk board near the end of class (with all of these photos, if you click them you'll see a bigger version).

I thought that Flat Stanley seemed a little confused by the last part of the lecture, and I was worried that he would feel a bit lost, but happily he made friends with one of the students, and that student was able to help him after class to understand some of the more subtle points of the lecture.

Well, after a very challenging class, Flat Stanley and I were both pretty hungry, so we went to the Beckman Institute (where I have my office and my lab) and had lunch in the Beckman Cafeteria. Flat Stanley was particularly hungry (he worked very hard in class), and cleaned his plate.

After lunch, Flat Stanley really wanted to visit the robotics lab in the Beckman Institute. I should never have turned my back on Flat Stanley once we were in the lab. I turned my head for just a moment, and when I looked back, Flat Stanley had taken the cover off of one of our robots, and climbed inside for a ride. This is pretty dangerous - but Flat Stanley seems to like adventure. You can see him in the robot in the photo on the left. On the right, you'll see Flat Stanley with another new friend, although this friend is just a robot, so he's not so interesting.

Finally it was time to leave the lab and head for home. Once again, I turned my back on Flat Stanley, and it was a mistake. I thought I would never find him, but eventually I did find him --- in the lab window with his newest friend Flat Arnold. Flat Stanley is a very friendly guy, as you can see in the next photo.

Well, it has been a long day with Flat Stanley, and tomorrow... tomorrow another adventure awaits us. So I will end this here. I hope all is well in Indiana. So far, all is well here with Flat Stanley.