Archive for January, 2010

Breakfast blog

Yep, I’m eating breakfast and it’s almost 11:00. I’m finding it really hard not to let myself sleep in on Tuesdays…

Anyways, as I munch on some yummy yogurt and granola and stare out at my sunny and snowy backyard, I keep trying to picture myself eating breakfast at the research station in Panama. No luck. I think my brain has accepted that I won’t know what it’s like until I get there, so lately all I can imagine is my face floating above some nondescript green rain forest. The only clue I did get this week was Dr. Gering’s recordings of katydid songs, so now I know what the rain forest will sound like while Andrea and I are exploring at night.

Oh well, I suppose I should direct my thoughts to something more productive. Especially considering this weekend it definitely hit me that our second week is over, and I have quite a lot to do. In addition to our History and JINS reading and the essays, I certainly have a lot of reading to do for the bio project to prepare our proposal and annotated bibliography. I am really excited about our recycling project, though it seems there is no real way to grasp what we’re facing until we arrive.

Besides the Panama stuff, I am currently trying to plan my summer before we leave. So if anyone has any suggestions for worthwhile things to do in the Seattle area, let me know! I plan to live with my cousin up there, but I should probably find something productive to do with my time 🙂 And lastly, I’ll be busy baking for the next 2 weeks because the Jewish student organization (Hillel) is having a Challah bread sale. So come by our table and order one if you’re curious. They’re really tasty!

OK, that’s my plug. I’ve decided to make this week very productive, so hopefully that actually happens. I’m excited to hear the rest of the discipline presentations today, and I’m definitely looking forward to our potluck tomorrow night! (Side note: I hope someone is actually bringing brownies, because I’ve been thinking about them all week. Thanks Marc.)

Good luck with everything, everyone!

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week 2

Week 2 has already passed. I can hardly believe I will be leaving so soon. As much as I can’t wait to go, I always get a little nervous before big trips (not to mention I hate packing). I am definitely going to miss all my friends and family back home. I already have plans for skype dates so I can keep up to date on juicy gossip and such.
This week was an interesting one for me; I landed myself in the ER on Martin Luther King Day due to severe chest pain. Luckily it was nothing too serious I was diagnosed with Costochondritis (inflammation of cartilage connecting the ribs) after 5 hours of waiting. Cleared up quickly which was good and hasn’t bothered me since.
Maeve and I are working more on our research proposal. This week Dr. Gering showed us how to key out katydids and how to determine the type of katydids we find. He told us that we might find katydid that won’t fit the key because no one has ever discovered them before. How cool! Does that mean we could name is after ourselves? He also showed us lots of pretty pictures of katydids and we listened to some of their calls or music if you will.
As for my classes this week, I learned some colonial Latin American history. In JINS we have now all done our pie chart introductions. We are getting to know each other better and better. Also some of us have given our group presentations on our disciplines. We have come to the conclusion that we are all big dorks or TTS (typical Truman students). We had a speaker come to inform us about the service learning program at Truman and give us advice on how to execute our projects. And in bio we gathered supplies for our research.

Im out… got lots of reading to do for this week.

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An exhaustive day, but hey- we have Monday’s off :)

Several events happened this weekend, but by far my favorite was learning how to dance West Coast swing on Saturday! I attended a workshop and danced the night away Saturday night with a few leads who really know how to tear up the dance floor 🙂 Plus, I got to dance with some west coast leads which just solidified my confidence in what I had learned earlier in the day! It was marvelous 🙂 Sometimes I wonder if I should be doing homework rather than dancing, but hey the way I look at it is learning to dance is an investment I am making in myself. So, I’ll just continue dancing…

Here is an example of west coast swing:

About the progress with the Panama trip- my bio group is one step closer having our lizards ready- we met with CMont on Friday at an early 8 am to solder the wires of a few of the remaining lizards. I love working with my hands. It was awesome 🙂

Our recycling project will have some difficulty lifting off the ground for now, because we’re not actually in the area we need to research! More to come later on that project!

I received an awesome gift today! Ben and his dad, Dr. Hale found a map of Panama that lists all kinds of local attractions and parks! It shows the best place for surfing and all kinds of really awesome things to do. I put it up on my wall so I can look at it every day before we go! It is really cool to see Omar Torrejos National Park on my wall!

Anyway, its getting late and I’m exhausted! Sleep is commencing now…

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I think I’ll call this one ‘Boots.’

This week has been really interesting! After getting into the swing of things and getting more deeply immersed in my studies I am getting all the more excited for Panama. I am really enjoying learning about the history of Latin America knowing that I will be going there soon. There is so much I never knew!!! It has made me start to ponder about all the other masses of knowledge that I am lacking!!
Progress on the creation of our lizards is going well and I learned how to solder this week… kinda. I feel like there is so so so much left to do before we leave and it’s stressing me out just a little as the homework seems to build up… all standing in the way of me getting to Panama! Better get them done;)!
As for the rest of life… I had an awesome time with Calli last night; we ate pizza and spent time with her friends. Today I went to Thousand Hills park with Kevyn and wore in my hiking boots a little more. I really like my boots, I believe I’m converted for life.. no more girly boot for the rain. They got nice and muddy and we had an amazing time enjoying the first rays of sunshine in what feels like weeks!! Now with Becca doing laundry… Better get back to my studies!

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Week 2

Nothing too exciting happened this week, I started doing research and planning for my project.  My mom, a newly ’empty nester,’ came up to Kirksville today for her birthday which was fun and a free meal is always a plus.  I’m still working on my Spanish but am making little progress… I think I’ll just bring a notepad everywhere I go so I can draw what I’m trying to say.  I also started going to the REC this week so hopefully I’ll be ready to hike by the time we leave.  In other news, I think I’m coming down with a cold but I’ve been drinking lots of orange juice so maybe I’ll be cured before I actually get sick.  That’s about it, not too exciting of a week but next week should be more fun, one of my roommates is turning 21, yeah birthdays!

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week 2

As we’re getting closer to our time of departure I’m thinking more and more about what this trip is going to mean to me.  I’m excited about the chance to explore another country, and meet another type of people. I’m also looking forward to being in another environment, and really being immersed in nature for such a long time.

Another factor of the trip that I’m excited about is getting some perspective.  It can be hard at times to put my life in to perspective, being in college the things that seem so important to my life now won’t be nearly as significant later on, especially compared to all the adventures I’m hoping I will have.  So that’s a big thing that I hope too get out of the trip, perspective.  I’m hoping the things that I spend way to much time thinking and worrying about will give way to thoughts of bigger possibilities for myself, and that I can let some of the things that I’ve currently been thinking about go.

I’m also excited about catching shrimp and crabs ….

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Plane tickets

We bought plane tickets this past week, which brings us one step closer to Panama. The curious thing about plane tickets is that adding another stop can make the ticket cheaper. In this case, flying from Madison through Kansas City on the way to Panama saves us a couple hundred dollars. I had a similar experience with a ticket to New Orleans to give a talk next Monday, though in this case I’m just flying straight from St Louis. An always present danger in adding stops to an itinerary, other than adding to my carbon footprint (most of the fuel usage is used at takeoff), is that American Airlines has trouble running its planes on time which means that I end up missing too many connections. For the Panama trip, however, it was not possible to get a flight to Kansas City the morning that it leaves, which means I have to travel the night before. But I have to fly thru O’Hare, which means that I might be spending the nite in the O’Hare airport rather than MCI!

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week two

After finishing up the second week of class I feel like I am starting to get to know everyone a lot better.  I think that we are all going to get a long just fine and have a great time together.  We are finally starting to get into the real work and planning of the trip.  I think the thing that I am most excited about is the service learning trip that I am helping to plan.  Me and four other students going on the trip are working on expanding a recycling program that the high school students have started.  The group at the high school that started the project are really interested in expanding the project to the rest of the town.  What we will be focusing on is educating the people of the area on recycling and the harmful effects of the way they are getting rid of trash now, which is burning it in plastic grocery bags.  Another aspect that we think is important is placing the recycle bins in high traffic areas where they will be most effective. The most important part of the project is to make is sustainable.  We want this project to continue after we leave.  Another part of the trip that we will be participating in is ESL, English as a second language.  We do not know much about this yet, but there is more information to come.  We finally have an idea of the trips that we will be making while we are down there.  We are going on a lot more trips than I thought, but this is not a problem with me.  We will be getting all that we can out of this trip and I cannot wait to get all around the country. How about we just leave now.  Sound good?

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Week 2 developments

What to talk about?  Not a whole lot.  I was able to reach one of my contacts with the Forest Service in Wyoming, and he is going to send me the publication the FS puts out for its trail crews about trail construction/maintenance.  We’ll see if that helps at all with the trail construction service project in the park.

I’ve also done some more research for my biology project, and have a working title and equipment list.

On a side note, I have a new niece!  Leah Jean Lower was born early Saturday morning, and I drove down to O’Fallon Saturday night to see her.  You may think that I’m acting irrationally being excited about one more person in the world; after all, there’s already nearly 6.7 billion people on the planet.  What’s so special about one more?  But despite the fact that my sister and brother-in-law are contributing to the overpopulation problem, I can’t help but be a little bit excited.

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On second thought…

I think I am only going to update my other blog. It is a lot easier to work with, plus is it is much prettier.

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