Professor Polack
Professor Polack, a distinguished computer science professor at the University of Mary Washington, possesses a deep curiosity for global exploration. Driven by a desire to broaden her understanding of different cultures and technological landscapes, she aspires to study abroad in countries across the world. Professor Polack's ambition to study abroad exemplifies her commitment to enriching both his own academic perspectives and the field of computer science as a whole.
View UMW Trip 2024
Iceland, where we spent weeks exploring the stunning landscapes of this Nordic island. One of the highlights of the trip was driving around the famous ring road, a 1,332-kilometer highway that circles the entire country. Along the way, we marveled at cascading waterfalls, rugged coastlines, and towering glaciers. We had the chance to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture, sampling traditional cuisine and learning about the country's history and geology. This unforgettable journey through Iceland's dramatic beauty left a lasting impression all of us.
View UMW Trip 2023
After leading a study abroad trip to Brazil and Argentina, where the students explored the wonders of the Amazon Rainforest, embarked on a captivating river cruise along the Amazon, and marveled at the breathtaking Iguazu Falls from both sides of the border, Professor Polack decided to create a photo book. With meticulous attention to detail, he curated a collection of photographs capturing the vibrant landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and joyous moments of the trip. I aimed to provide a visual narrative that would forever remind the students of their remarkable journey.

A Bit of Bad Luck

Throughout our trip, we had a few instances of some pretty bad luck…

I was a little nervous to go on this trip because I knew that the loch ness monster was an urban legend in Iceland, and I have always been scared of seeing it.

When I was standing on a cliffside overlooking the ocean, I saw the water start to move, and suddenly the loch ness monster appeared!

I was so shocked and also terrified, but I knew I had to get my phone out so that I could get a picture as evidence of what I saw. I think the loch ness monster could tell that I was scared because he swam closer and started talking to me.

He explained that his people are kind and are greatly misunderstood by the people of Iceland. We had a long conversation about our lives, and his is actually now one of my good friends. So, while this experience started out as pretty bad luck, it ended with friendship!

One morning, as we were exploring a nature trail, our friend Brian realized that you could walk on the frozen lake without the ice breaking. Soon walking on the ice turned into sliding around on the ice which eventually turned into sliding on the ice like penguins.

After a few of us tried the penguin slide and (mostly) successfully did it, Dr. Polack decided that she wanted to try for herself (which later proved to be a very bad idea). She tentatively went to slide on the ice and immediately flopped to the ground.

Then she spontaneously combust and died. We had to spend the rest of the trip taking turns driving our van because she was our designated driver. We also got financially compensated from the school for the trauma we endured.

At a restaurant we visited in Northern Iceland, there were cows that you could see from inside. You could also go outside and visit with them. After having a delicious burger at the restaurant, I decided that I needed to pay my respects to the rest of the cows.

One of the cows started licking my pants, so I decided to record it.

Watching the video back, I heard the cow’s internal monologue and even though he ate my pants, I realized that I needed to save him (and also never have another burger again).

So I came back that night, and stole him! I hid him in my suitcase for the rest of the trip. He is now happily living in my apartment on campus (please don’t tell res life).

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