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. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Part 1 complete!

Huzzah! I have finished my poster for my ESYS symposium that is tomorrow night. I do believe that I spent as much time on the alignment of my text boxes and figures as I did with the content But the result of that is a poster that I am very satisfied with aesthetically!

I have to say though, it was difficult to figure out how to get this plotted...and I went through a somewhat complicated process of converting files, printing to two different printers (one to get the print preview/quote and one to print), and then making more minute changes to my poster. However, thank you Academic Computing Services for offering this service at a price 4 times cheaper than what Imprints offers its students. Now all that's left to do is to go through the rest of the graphs that Lizzie sent me for my paper and work on that, after I get through my poster presentation of course. I'm excited to see what my fellow ESYS classmates have been working on for their internship these past 2 quarters as well.

 ::post-ESYS symposium 5.27.2011::

It was great seeing everyone's posters! Everyone was dressed up very nicely as well and had good presentations of their internships, which varied from educational outreach programs to specified scientific research topics. All in all, I think the symposium went well, especially since there were many community members, alums, and other faculty and staff members that came to see everyone's internship work.
Lizzie insisted I present my poster, so here I am!
We also had a few former ESYS alumni come and speak at the reception and gave recognition to the faculty and staff that work behind the scenes and helps make the ESYS program work smoothly. The ESYS symposium concluded with a class of 2011 picture (which I've yet to receive), and it was quite sad for a few moments as we all stood there together thinking about the culmination of our project and our years at UCSD. I, for one, am glad that I came into the university with this major, not knowing what it was but leaving the school very satisfied at the road I've taken these past 4 years. Only a few more days to go!