the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

You Go Girl

what does it mean when an email from your advisor includes the phrase "you go girl!"? especially when your advisor has gray hair, is balding, and is built like a football player. a very tall football player. i laughed my ass off when i read that a minute ago. i don't know what dr. v. was thinking when he typed that.

i've been working all morning (i know, a rare occurrence these days), mostly communicating with committee members via email. i met with my reu student this morning (notice how i've claimed her as my own), and we talked about her role in my summer research. translation: we talked about how we're going to make her helping with my work look like her project. so, she will be designing the first field experiment with the urchins. i think i remeber saying once that i'd seen enough urchins at that point to last me a lifetime. well, i'm going to be seeing many, many more urchins in the near future. anyway, i've never done a field experiment before, so this should be an exciting new experience. but that also means that i have no freakin' clue as to what i'm doing when trying to design the things. well, i know how to effectively design an experiment. i'm just not accustomed to all the factors one has to deal with in the field. i'm used to lab experiments where i am god...i control everything in the lab (oh, those parrotfish and urchins are gonna have a blast with me later on). but not the field. so, dr. v's help is much needed there. it's ok, though. gretchen (my reu) and i are meeting with him tuesday.

anyway, i put together my "shopping list" for dr. v. so he can beg the dept chair for money (the problem with preliminary research is that you don't have a grant yet, which means you have no funding and are reduced to begging for money). when i emailed him the list, along with some more plans, and things i don't want to worry about over the summer, he addressed everything i'd talked about in the email, and at the end, he wrote, "so far nothing scary so you go girl!" then he said he would run down zimmerman (a guy whose ideas i'm hijacking, so i need his protocols). that sounds a bit intimidating. run down zimmerman.

anyway, things are definitely on track for me and my summer plans, so i'm a little giddy. i'm such a nerd. that is a frequent statement on this blog, but i really am. you have no idea how excited actual research makes me. i can't wait until we take our first trip over to port st. joe, which should be in the next couple of weeks. i'll take pictures for you. i just have to work around o'brien and my TA duties for his marine bio class. i get to take a tank of liquid nitrogen with me to st. joe. i've never traveled with liquid nitrogen. but i did pour some down a sink once, and it fogged up the whole lab. the lesson - let excess liquid nitrogen evaporate in its own sweet time. do not pour liquid nitrogen down a sink. i'm probably lucky i didn't suffocate.

speaking of o'brien, i'm meeting with him tomorrow to talk about those TA duties i told you about. he wants to get a boat and take the class over to sand island for the beach lab. i like sand island. i like the idea. the problem: i can't pull a trailer or drive a boat, so we'll have to recruit someone who can to cart us around between islands.

oh, and an update on my paper progress, for those who are interested: i'm meeting with anne tomorrow to make final final revisions (we've had input from tom, so all's well in seagrass paper land) and prepare to send it back to MEPS so they can publish it.

how am i dealing with all the excitement and giddiness in my life right now?

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