Sunday, March 1, 2009

At the grindstone

Just in case you thought I fell overboard on one of my research cruises, was suffocated by the ever growing mound of homework and scientific literature, or got lost in the library never to find my way out again, I'm here for just a moment to say "I'm OK". Very busy, but OK.

Here's some of the fun things I've been up to (all taken from my friend Amanda's camera):

From Left: Me, Jason, Lerin, Matt, Amanda, and Monica during a research outing on the R/V Coral Sea. We were using a CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth (really pressure)) sensor package to create a heat budget of Humboldt Bay.
My picture of the CTD from a previous cruise. Isn't she pretty?

Discovering I've completely forgotten how to roller skate at Paula's 30th birthday party. I'm the blurry feet at the top of the picture because I was desperately trying to just stay on my feet. From Top to the right: Me, Lerin, Amanda, and Jason.

Chillin' with the Oceanography Society. I haven't been able to make all the meetings this semester, but I try. Top row: Pono, Rich, Jason. Middle Row: Me, Jeremiah. Bottom Row: Erin, Monica, Amanda. There's a lot more of us, but that's all that could make it to the last meeting of last semester.

Cleaning up trash at the Bay Street Beach in Eureka. We spent at least a half hour trying to get all this rope cut off and untangled. From Left clockwise: Lerin, Justin, Me.

After two hours, we collected six bags of trash, the lining of a truck bed, and two large rusted pieces of metal from a car. This is a much better idea of how many people are in the club, although many people couldn't make it that morning.

Amanda, Monica, Jeremiah, Lerin and I all went out to dinner Thursday night to detox after a four and a half hour class. The food was decent, fairly cheap, and we stayed for two hours and had a great time. This year has really been the first that I've had classes with other oceanography majors, and I've been really surprised with myself at how fast I'm making friends. Normally it can take me years to become friends with someone, and most of the people in the photos (with the exception of Justin), I've only met last fall. But I guess when you have the same class schedule with the same group of people that you see every day, all day you make friends pretty fast.

But don't start thinking that it's been all fun and games. I'm at school/work twice a week from 8am to 8pm, and from 8am to 5pm the other three days. I'm also driving up to Trinidad once a week to take water samples, and have had tests and papers due almost every week (in fact, I have two big papers due in the next couple of weeks, and will get a physics test back on Monday). I've also been looking for an internship in my spare time (haha!), and trying to meet with a career counselor (who thinks I'm a lazy and non-serious student because I didn't start looking for an internship when I was 13 and am just partying all my time away and not paying attention in class because I have a 3.3 GPA) to work on my resume so I can finally contact the people that another contact mentioned might have a position for me. Oh, and of course taxes, FAFSA, and scholarship applications.

The good news is that I needed to go to the doctor a couple weeks ago, and even with all the stress in my life right now (read: horrible junk food eating that's been happening), I've only gained about 12 pounds since Thanksgiving, my cholesterol's in the healthy range, and my blood pressure is excellent. I also haven't been sick at all, although I have been battling off a small cold the last week or so. Although my weight is pretty much the same since I went vegan a year ago last month, there's been a huge difference in my blood work results, my blood pressure, the amount of energy I have to do everything, and I haven't been really sick since I went vegan, just the sniffles here and there. Let's see if I can't keep it up!

Alright, I must go now and continue to write at least 10 pages of a review paper of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on the California coast, and the link with various physical conditions. It's actually pretty interesting, and is a continuation of my last semester's biological oceanography project, and a stepping stone in my senior thesis project. Hopefully I'll learn something through this project that will help me link what I find in my weekly water samples to larger environmental conditions that may help predict when a HAB will occur here in Humboldt County. I'm so glad that I am studying oceanography. It truly is something that I've always been interested in, and the more I learn, the more excited I get to learn more. I couldn't be happier, even if the course load is insane.


Grammy :-) said...

Wonderful up-date :-) So good to see all of your friends. "Hi Everyone, Grammy here. In case you don't know it yet, this GRANDDAUGHTER of ours is really a SUPER GAL. It is so nice to know that you are all working together to help make our world a better place. Thank you to each one of you who are out there learning & doing so much to not only help yourselves but others too. Blessings to each of you. :-)

aunt judy said...

"ditto" grammy's remarks! You'll look back on these days as some of the best of your life. love ya!
aunt judy/tio roger