Happy Holidays!!!!  (That would be MLK day, Ground Hogís Day, or Presidentís Day, depending on when this actually gets mailed!)  Welcome to the first in a five-year series, highlighting one graduate each year (which means Dave will have to find something to graduate from five years from now). 

 Michael graduated from Carleton in 2001, so this is ďhisĒ year:

Arguably, my life has undergone the most changes since last year.  Iíve graduated from college, found my first ďrealĒ job working at a small optics company in the Minneapolis metro area, moved into a house with some of my friends, and last but certainly not least, gotten engaged to Elizabeth Olsen, whom I met during my tenure at the Carleton College Science Fiction Interest House.

 Iíve settled pretty comfortably into the post-college lifestyle.  Other than the fact that I need to sleep at night now, itís been a pretty easy transition, but itís far from complete. The novelty of paying bills, keeping the house clean, and cooking dinner hasnít quite worn off yet.

 Other than working, cooking, and cleaning, Iíve had time to develop a few hobbies.  Chief among these is wedding planning, which is growing more and more hectic as Elizabeth and I scramble to find florists, photographers, cakes, dresses, and a minister whoís willing to marry two spiritual non-churchgoers.

 With my two roommates Iíve also started publishing an online comic, which is at www.wintercomic.com.  I recommend that everyone check it out, since it certainly makes us feel more important.

 In addition to welcoming Elizabeth into our family, we added Jutta Michaelis-Braun, a 17-year old exchange student from Hamburg, Germany.  Jutta fits right in, with her very Borchert-like sense of humor and calm disposition.  Also from Germany in our family picture is Katharina Kohler, a good friend of Tomís from Caltech.  Katharina and Tom both graduate in June, 2002  (but thatís part of next yearís storyÖ.).  Dave, Pat and Karen still hold down the Golden Valley homestead.  All are busy and healthy, each with their own particular challenges (Dave with his {thankfully} never-ending requests from his clients, Pat with her currently nonexistent dissertation, and Karen with successfully being a great 15-year old).  Unfortunately we did lose two loved members of our extended family since we last wrote.  Patís mother Doris passed away December 30, 2000, and Daveís father John passed away March 30, 2001.  We miss both parents very much.

 The travel highlight of the year was a fabulous family trip to Alaska. It was an unexpected treat that everyone could be together, kayaking and biking on the Kenai peninsula south of Homer, seeing salmon running while boating with old college friends (sourdoughs Shana and Doug Loshbaugh) on Lake Tustumena, hiking up Exit Glacier on to the Harding Ice Fields near Seward, and camping with the mosquitos and hiking with the grizzlies in Denali.  What wonderful memories!

 Other family member trips included Patís trips to Sweden and Washington, D.C. for conferences, Karenís wilderness BWCA canoe camp and winter camp, and a December trip for Pat and Dave to the wilderness high desert in California, followed by the Rose Parade, and then joining Karen and Jutta in San Diego settling Daveís mom, Jane, into a condo (sheís a snowbird this year).

 So thatís it for this year.  Stay tuned for next yearís episode of the mini-series on Borchert graduates.