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.

Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland


As the morning light spilled over the rugged landscape of Iceland, I embarked on a journey to explore the hidden treasures of this land of fire and ice. The air was crisp with anticipation as I followed winding roads that led me to the first spectacle: Seljalandsfoss. Standing before its majestic veil of water, I was captivated by its ethereal beauty. The cascading waters whispered tales of ancient mysteries, inviting me to immerse myself in their timeless embrace.

Continuing my quest, I ventured deeper into the heart of Iceland, where Skógafoss awaited, a roaring giant whose thunderous cascade echoed through the valley. As I stood in awe at its base, I felt the sheer power of nature envelop me, filling me with a sense of wonder and humility. The misty spray painted rainbows in the air, casting a spell of enchantment over the landscape.

But the adventure was far from over. Trekking through rugged trails, I discovered Glymur, a hidden gem nestled in a secluded valley. With each step, I felt the pulse of the earth beneath me, guiding me toward this ultimate spectacle. At last, standing on the cliff’s edge, I beheld Glymur’s towering cascade, its waters plunging into the abyss below. In that moment, surrounded by the untamed wilderness, I felt a deep connection to the raw beauty of Iceland’s waterfalls, a connection that would stay with me long after my journey’s end.

The Icelandic air was cool against my skin as I approached Skógafoss, its thunderous roar growing louder with each step. Standing at the base of this colossal waterfall, I craned my neck to take in its full majesty. The sheer force of the cascading waters mesmerized me, sending chills down my spine. The misty spray danced in the sunlight, creating an ethereal veil that seemed to blur the boundaries between reality and dream.

As I gazed up at the towering cliff from which Skógafoss plummeted, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of insignificance in the presence of such natural grandeur. Yet, paradoxically, I also felt a deep connection to the ancient forces that shaped this land. The relentless power of the waterfall reminded me of the resilience and strength that lie within the heart of nature itself. In that moment of awe and reverence, I understood why Skógafoss was not just a waterfall but a symbol of Iceland’s untamed spirit.

Leaving Skógafoss behind, I carried with me a newfound appreciation for the raw beauty of the Icelandic wilderness. Its thunderous cascade echoed in my memory, a reminder of the fleeting yet profound moments that make life an extraordinary adventure.

As I stood at the base of Skógafoss, the misty spray enveloped me, casting a magical aura over the landscape. The sunlight filtered through the cascading waters, creating a shimmering curtain that seemed to dance in the air. And then, as if by some divine brushstroke, a rainbow emerged from the mist, arching gracefully across the sky. Its vibrant colors painted a breathtaking contrast against the dark cliffs, a symbol of hope and wonder in the midst of Iceland’s rugged beauty.

I watched in awe as the rainbow stretched its radiant arc, seemingly reaching out to touch the earth below. It felt like a fleeting moment of serenity amidst the thunderous roar of the waterfall, a reminder that beauty can be found even in the most tumultuous of places. For a brief instant, time stood still as I basked in the kaleidoscope of colors, feeling a sense of gratitude for being witness to such natural splendor.

As the rainbow slowly faded into the mist, I couldn’t help but smile, knowing that the memory of this moment would stay with me forever. It was a reminder that in the midst of life’s storms, there is always beauty to be found, if only we have the eyes to see it. And as I turned to leave Skógafoss behind, I carried with me not just the image of a rainbow, but the promise of brighter days ahead.

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