Apparently I use this solely as a procrastination technique, so that when I have a lot to do but am not completely crushed, I write something; and when I am either crushed or bored, I don't.

Okay. So. Many. Things. Have. Happened.

1. I finished my thesis, which involved a poster (which was surprisingly difficult), a presentation (which was petrifying, but ultimately went all right), and a long, drawn-out process of editing. But I survived, barely, and the Roommate and I watched Korra in celebration. Yay!

2. I finished all of my classes ... barely. I had two final papers (for biogeography and intonational phonology), both of which I finished late. But I passed both classes, so apparently the professors didn't mind too much. (And in all fairness, they weren't that late, only half an hour for the one and 10 minutes for the other.)

3. My brother got stomach flu; I didn't realize it was contagious, so I promptly got stomach flu. It was actually kind of amazing how much it flattened me. Also, I lost ten pounds of water; and I only regained about half of that back, which is probably the result of basically not eating for five days. Oh well.

4. Senior week! It was surprisingly fun: we didn't do hardly any of the normal activities. The Magician and Fortitude and I went to laser tag, where we happened to run into Other Me; then, on Monday and Tuesday (May 20 and 21) we all (me, the Roommate, the Magician, Fortitude, and the Tower) went to Block Island. It was AMAZING. My pictures are crappy because my camera didn't handle the mist well, so 1) I am going to get a new camera, and 2) I will have to steal pictures from everyone else. But! We walked around a lot and saw a giant cemetery, and then biked to the south lighthouse (where I almost passed out for some reason that I'm not sure about). Then we biked to the north lighthouse, which was great fun. There was a 9/11 memorial there, too, which seemed a bit out of place. Also, the sea gulls were nesting, and became very angry if we got within a few feet, but they still refused to move off their nests. It was really cool, over all.

5. Graduation! I did it. It is over. It was kind of fun, considering all the tromping around we did in cap-and-gown. I got sunburned on half of my face, which was fun. Also, because we have departmental ceremonies instead of the president reading off everyone's name (thank God!), they had one person from each degree category go up to accept their degree symbolically for the whole of the class. I didn't realize how it worked, however, so I stood up when they called bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and dual degree folks. It was exciting, especially since they didn't really tell us dual-degreers to stand up or sit down ... we kind of just did whatever ...

6. North Carolina! I went home, and I cleaned my WHOLE ROOM. Actually, not quite, but almost. You can actually see the floor! I also met with a lawyer, who spent about ten minutes talking about clothes and clearly wanted to eke as much money out of us as possible. Oh well. I am going to have a living will, yay?

7. I returned to Providence! My room is kind of strange, it is basically a second common room that is convertible to a bedroom if needed. That means it has many windows and is very light in the morning, has no closet, and is huge. In some ways it's great: the Hermit came and visited this week, and there is a couch-like object in my room that can serve as a guest bed; and Fortitude is going to stay here on Sunday night, so it has already gotten a fair amount of use. Unfortunately, the doors have very little noise control, but so far this hasn't been much of a problem.

8. I ... finally decided to apply for a Fulbright to Ecuador! I found something to get excited about: volunteering at biological stations across the whole country! I started writing a letter to this guy there whose research looks interesting, but I haven't finished yet. I will finish by Monday, though ... I have to if I actually want someone's sponsorship. :( But I also found some programs for teaching English in various countries across the world, so I am starting to feel like I will actually manage to make this thing work—next year at the Smithsonian, the following year abroad, then graduate school. Yay!

8.b. On the topic of grad school, I went to visit my cousin at Harvard on Wednesday, and saw the Harvard OEB building. It is BEAUTIFUL, at least on the outside and in the corridors. I wish they had research there that is closer to what I want to do; I will probably end up applying, but it really isn't the best school for my area. Oh well ...

9. Newport! I am about to go to Newport with Fortitude and the Tower to visit the Roommate and do Cliffwalk and visit the mansions and things. Yay! I want to buy a new camera, so I wish I had gotten around to this before leaving for Newport, but oh well. Hopefully the Roommate will take lots of pictures.

That's about it. I should go get ready.
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.

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lailoken

July 2012

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