Hi guys and gals! Finals week has arrived and I thought that I would go ahead and update before I got deep into studying (I.E. I am currently procrastinating).
This week the class took a trip to Port St. Joseph (outside of Panama City) to survey the fauna and flora of two marine environments: sea grass beds and artificial reefs. I don't own a digital underwater camera, so the real good pictures will have to wait until I have the pictures from my disposable underwater camera developed and scanned.
The trip was a nice one...even if a certain student sitting beside me drank all the way to our destination... six hours...starting at 8:15 that morning. We stayed in hotel rooms.. and I got a room with Austin and Michael (from UAH). Here's a pic of the room and Austin:
Today we took a trip out to the deep(er) sea on the Verril. It was painstakingly slow and amazingly unproductive. The most interesting thing was the water spout (A tornado formed over water) that appeared right in front of us on our way back to land...Followed by the plankton samples we collected about 10 meters down. We took another plankton sample at the surface of the water to illustrate diurnal vertical migration,...but only the couple of people paying attention really realized it I think. Not only did we fail to collect anything but a few urchins from the two trawls we preformed, we only got to snapper-fish for around 15 minutes. Seems like a total waste of a trip, especially when the trip isn't going to be graded anyhow. I did manage to pull up 3 medium-sized red snapper off of Molly's fishing pole that I borrowed without her consent (hey--It was in my car anyhow :D ).
Here are some pictures that I snapped from this adventure:
And next... Some pictures of living things around campus. The first is of a mother mockingbird with a chick. You can clearly see the red-berry snack she has prepared for the chick. (click to enlarge)
And another, focusing on the chick. I got pretty darn close to the bird, and I am not sure who was observing whom more.
And here's a picture of a Painted Lady feeding outside our cafeteria... Living things prove so difficult to photograph. Not only is it hard to focus on close objects, they move!! (This was the best out of 5 pictures!!!) But I guess that's what makes it fun... if everything were frozen, colorless in formalin, the world would be a whole lot more....Crosslinked ;)
And a last ranting.
I'm feeling...unfulfilled lately. Like.. the things holding me back are, well... other people. I want to do something amazing...new...something. I want to roll something of my own for once. I don't really know what; that's what adds to the confusion. I feel like there's something amazing I could be doing, but I don't know what it is. I talked to Ron Shimeck the other day via PM through the Marine Depot message boards.. hoping that I could get another motivational message this year. Last year I told him that I regarded him as a mentor, even though he had never seen me, nor I him. He gave me some good advice that I've pretty much followed to the T, but now I've done everything and want something more. I was told that the first few years of my college education are basically nothing but for learning vocabulary, and frankly, I believe him.
Why am I doing all of this? What do I want to do anyway?
Dr. Miller-Way gave me some "advice" about the Ph.D. path... and it scared me. I don't want to live my life on stress and soft money. I'm trying to think about what I really want... but the thing is... I don't know what I want---I just want it. Does that make any sense?
Oh! Stallsmith has a research project idea involving parasites and black darters (O'Brien has been talking a whole lot about parasites lately.. and I'm interested!). I really want to volunteer but I'm afraid I may be lacking time with all the stuff I've taken on for next semester. What should I do? ...And paying to do research is the last thing I need.