This week was absurdly long. I spent a lot of time in the lab learning more pollen processing, and got to look at sediment cores (!) on Wednesday. Wednesday night was the second Evolutionary Bio exam, so I spent a lot of time on Tuesday and Wednesday tutoring/TAing (or whatever it should be called). I spent at least three hours on Thursday evening working with one student who completely bombed the first exam, so hopefully she did better on the second one. She got to take it late because, on top of doing horribly the first time, she also had pneumonia for the past two weeks. Talk about a tough time!

On Thursday during Human Evolution section, we got to look at bones. BONES!!!!!!!! Okay, bones are really really cool. It's amazing how it's possible to look at a bone and figure things out about its history—not just in the evolutionary sense (is it a tetrapod? a synapsid?), but also in the forensic anthropology and taphonomic sense. I LOVE BONES. I tried to go to my professor's office hours on Thursday to ask about bones we didn't talk about in class, but he wasn't there; so, I'm going to go back on Monday.

I confess that my enthusiasm for bones makes me think that vertebrate paleontology might actually be something I'd want to study—after all, you pretty much get to spend a lot of time looking at bones. Unfortunately, you might have to spend a lot of time dissecting things too, which is not exactly something I want in my future. Alternatively, human evolution would be cool, but I do NOT want to go to grad school in an anthropology department, so I think human evolution is off the table. Finally, forensic anthropology would be SO COOL, but unfortunately I would have to 1) go to grad school in an anthropology department, and 2) probably have to dissect humans, which is even worse than other things.

Yesterday (Friday) I graded exams in the morning, then went for a meeting with Dimetrodon which she couldn't make because she was stuck in traffic, then went back to grade some more exams, then went to a TA meeting for Evolutionary Bio (whose exams I was grading), then went to class where we started to learn officially how to use Praat (which I already know how to use), then went to a meeting with someone who had worked at the Smithsonian as an intern five summers ago, then met with Dimetrodon about my thesis, then lost my keys and went traipsing around campus to find them before realizing I'd just left them in the lab, then saw a hawk outside of House and spent fifteen minutes staring at it, then went to dinner where I consumed copious amounts of ice cream, then went to the Juggler's a capella concert (she joined Disney a capella), then talked to the Tower for a little while about Merlin, then went to the Roommate's a capella concert, then went to bed.

It was a long day, as that extremely long run-on sentence demonstrates.

Anyway ... I finally this morning sent off an email to someone at the Smithsonian, so hopefully he will get back to me and I will have a job for next year! Of course, hopefully he will actually be able to pay me, but. The Roommate is going to talk to someone one Tuesday about what she would do at the Smithsonian. Hopefully everything will work out, and I will actually be able to call her my roommate without sort of kind of maybe lying.

And now, as a reward for finally finishing that email, I am going to work on my NaNo outline. I should do something important, but alas, I am not going to.
Last night I had a little blip, but it was okay because it only lasted for a few hours. I've only had one other minor episode in the last month or two (can't really remember what August was like), so that's good. I've basically been stable (well, normal—there were months and months there in the last three years where I was "stable" but miserable) for at least a month now, so I can't complain! Yay! \o/

In other news, I'm going back to New Hampshire this weekend!!!!! NEW HAMPSHIRE I LOVE YOU. Trees. Leaves. YAY! Anyway ... hopefully it will be fun, and I'm glad that last night's episode was so short, because it would have been awful to be down all weekend. :P

And in still other news ... I AM FINALLY STARTING THESIS RESEARCH!!!!! Not entirely, because I won't have samples until some time next week, but I met with Pachypteris today and she started to show me how to count pollen, about pollen features, and those sorts of things. She also gave me a lab manual to go through to teach me more about actually identifying pollen. Unfortunately, the person in charge of the lab (JR) doesn't seem terribly happy that we're coopting some of his space; so, it's going to be interesting, trying to actually get my own lab bench and drawer, and trying to gain access to the fume hood where I can use HF for pollen processing.

It's definitely not ideal, so I am going to ask Dimetrodon if she can give me some space in her lab. The fume hood situation is unavoidable, but all I need to count pollen is a microscope, a corner of a lab, and a computer. I could do it in my dorm room if absolutely necessary, but someone somewhere will manage to find me some lab space. Hopefully it won't be before JR throws a fit, though.



July 2012

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