Thursday, June 23, 2011

At long last

It has been a while, but I've finally found time to write up this graduation blog, *whew*

The week after I went out into the field with Lizzie was finals week, which was great! No really, it was a great week, especially since I decided that that was a good week to try and finish off items on my bucket list for UCSD before commencement while trying to remain focused on my senior research paper. There were just so many things to do before I graduated (such as running around campus at midnight finding all the art pieces in the Stuart Art Collection), though unfortunately, I didn't get to go around and finish my list. But by the time commencement rolled around, I was happy enough with where I was.

One thing I do have to say is that commencement was overrated. I thought it would have been a bit more grandiose; I was wrong, though the bagpipes that were playing while my graduating class walked in was exciting (it may have been the most exciting portion of the ceremony). Two hours later... I'm a college graduate!
Just smell that freedom!
And now that I've joined the (part-time) working world, I'm think I may miss the work and schedule that comes with academia, but who knows? Maybe I'll be back in it again some time in the future. For now, I'll enjoy this summer in La Jolla and play things by ear until September rolls around, how exciting!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The hills are alive

...with the sound of music! Or the wind, which was more the case. However, when I was working throughout the day in the field, I barely felt the wind blowing sometimes (it was hot, but Lizzie says that it wasn't as hot as it could be...I'll take her word for it).  Lizzie picked me up from the vicinity of my residence at around 7:00am, and from there, we drove about 30 minutes to the experimental site where we started our work. For about 6 hours, most of our work consisted of these steps:
Find the exclosure and/or sham. Sadly, I am almost completely covered by the surrounding shrubbery.
First, the cable ties have to be removed before the netting on the exclosure can be taken off.
This is followed by multiple strikes to the rebars to loosen them from the ground.
If that doesn't work the first time around, intermittently hammer while moving the bars from left to right before pulling.
After the rebars are removed, roll up the salvageable chicken wire to be ready for transport.
It was pretty grueling work, but I enjoyed it for the most part, despite the fact that we had to cart everything to the car at least 3 times. I believe that was about 15 minutes downhill with equipment and 10 minutes back uphill to get to the rest of items left behind; it was like an edition of Extreme Makeover: Gardening Edition/Field Work. After all this work, Lizzie and I had a Jamba Juice smoothie, which tasted like heaven after a hard day's work. Then we drove back to campus, and dumped the rebars in a dumpster and moved the rolls of chicken wire into the lab. *whew* I didn't realize until the next morning exactly how sunburned I was, haha. I just thought it was hot, considering the weather that I'm usually used to, which is nice and breezy La Jolla. Despite the now chafed and red arms and shoulders I have, I enjoyed my time outside, and the physical labor required to do this type of work. I have to say, this is a great way to end the quarter, and a better way to end a memorable internship experience. :)