I am not sure if I want to be a teacher. But the one bonus over doing research full-time is having the summers off. Okay, okay, I realize I spent two months doing research, but it was my choice. School work officially begins tomorrow and I am deeply saddened to end this fun time. Back to the grind of lecture writing, grading, and meetings. At least I have a job.
Speaking of jobs, I am pondering what I should do with myself when I move to Alaska. Should I try to get an adjunct position teaching? Should I write a grant and collaborate with someone up there doing research? Should I leave academics and find something else to do? So many choices.
I realize many of my friends are going through similar changes. Any suggestions on how to deal?
Somehow the past two months have slipped by and I only managed to update the blog once while I was in Maine. It has been a crazy summer but the last couple weeks have been the craziest. On the 14th of July, I gave a talk at the Frenchman Bay Crustacean Symposium. It was followed by a lobster bake complete with lobster, corn on the cob, potato salad, steamed mussels and blueberry pie. Yum. Here are some pics from the evening:
Me with my former post-doc advisors and their son:
The view from the lobster bake site in Somesville:
Me with my dinner!
Then the very next day I went out on an all day boat trip to collect copepods.
I got seasick. Barfed right over the edge. This has never happened to me, but I had all the signs it was coming. Shaky, weak legs, cramping in my stomach and legs, hot flash, and puke. Luckily, only one of the passengers saw me; she gave me ginger to settle my stomach and I felt relatively fine the rest of the trip.
Our copepod collection trip piggy-backed on the boat via a Marine Mammals course being taught at College of the Atlantic. The ten other passengers, therefore, were not interested in our little copepods, rather what was eating the copepods. We saw whales! A set of finbacks, a minke, and the highlight of the trip: a humpback female and her calve. They were having "breaching lessons": Here is one of the breaching:
I will try to post a cool video or two as well when YouTube gets their act together-
In the meantime, I am trying to wrap up my last week and a half here in MDI. The students are presenting their work next Tuesday which means that I am spending lots of time on the confocal microscope capturing some images for their posters. I will leave on the 31st and hopefully meet sir Keelay in Pennsylvania where we will visit the environs of where I grew up - The Grand Canyon of PA, the old berry picking spots, Lyman Lake... we're going to hit them all. And I'll get to see my precious pup. Sure do miss her:
I have a few moments this morning to reflect on the past month up in Downeast Maine. Working at the BioLab has been amazing!
A usual day involves dissecting some part of the nervous system of a crustacean-typically a green crab, sand crab, a lobster or a copepod. The copepods, of course are pretty small, so the dissection is challenging and involves some microdissection skills I garnered during my post-doc. The unfortuante part of working with copepods is that they are too small to EAT. Not so with the larger crustaceans. The poor lobsters and crabs have tiny nervous systems and a whole lot of muscle. And we aren't doing anything with their claws!
So I am looking for some recipes. I found one so far involving artichokes, cream and lobsters but haven't had time to make it yet. Preferably I need something quick. I need my extra time to work on this manuscript I have been putting off for, gulp, a year now.
To top off the wonderful eats, Maine has delicious produce and blueberry season is just around the corner. There is a large lobster pot in my cottage that may fit some jars, so in my best procrastinating, I may set out to make some jam / jelly as well.
In summary, working in Maine is awesome, but there are several distractions. I will write another post about the biking around Mount Desert Island. And all the old housemates/ guesthousemates that are coming to visit next month. And the trip to Colorado over the Fourth. And all the manuscripts that WILL get written!!! Just need some focus!
And for the electricity to stay on. Just had a flutter. Happens quite often, and typically when one of my students is trying to run a PCR. Or when my hard drive with all my data is still connected to the outlet. I better go check it...
K and I beat the rain tonight and headed to a Columbus Clippers game against the Charlotte Knights. We were getting killed when we left in the middle of the 6th inning, but it was nice going out and supporting the local team (update, mid 8th, score is 1-11, ouch!). Being at the game reminded me of a Sidewinders game except without the beer specials. Was it a "Thirsty Thursday" special the Sidewinders used to have? The Huntington ball park is brand new, so the only promotional deal we lucked into from our scalped tickets was entrance into the Toyota Zone, where the beers were more expensive and you had to tip the bartender. So much for a deal. But it was fun and it would be nice to go back if I wasn't leaving for two months on Friday. Ohio is so nice in the summer, but I have a feeling Maine will be quite nice too. I probably won't write on here very much, but stay tuned for sporadic updates. Until then, happy summer (ooh, except for K who still has 3 more weeks of teaching because the OSU is on quarters!)
For the last two weeks or so I totally forgot about you, poor blog. Did you miss me?
Busy? Yes. The semester at Denison has drawn to a close and I have two weeks to figure out how to pack K's car full of all the things I need to take with me to Maine. A thermocylcer. 100 petri dishes. Pipettes, beakers, flasks, oh my! How will it all fit?! Now, have I been as busy as some of you? Pro'ly not. Two babies were had. A PhD defended while taking care of a 4 month old. I feel pretty lame for mentioning "busy" compared to all that.
In my spare time finishing up the semester I have also been wedding planning. Wedding planning is just now becoming tolerable and fun. I did not enjoy it at first and I blame my hatred towards the many things wedding-related that are commercial and consumer driven and just plain lame. Perhaps the best advice came from one of my fellow bloggers, "Do what makes you happy, not what anyone else expects you to do. That, and generous amounts of booze." Amen, brother B! Amen.
Yesterday K and I decided to ignore our colds and headed up to Mohican State Park. We had previously seen some signs for a 25 mile loop and read about a 100 mile mountain bike race held there (Sat. May 30th. Just in time to get in shape, lol). So off we went to check it out.
Boy, was it beautiful. A nicely paced climb up through a deciduous / hemlock mix that smelled and felt a lot like riding in Flagstaff. When you got to the top of the loop, you just went up and down some bluffs along the Clear Fork Creek Gorge. Fun, fast, not too demanding or technical, but still challenging in places. It was heaven. Not to mention the spring wildflowers peaking their little head out from under the leaves just about everywhere you looked. 84 degrees and it just was one of those perfect days, capped by some Shiner Bocks waiting in a cooler, chilled by a frozen, roasted turkey breast that we later thawed and grilled for dinner. Gaffney faired a little less well, with the heat and her aging hips slowing her down. But she cooled off in the river and didn't bother any of the dogs along the trail, so it was a successful day.
I'm almost to the finish line of my first year of teaching at Denison. Only 2 1/2 lectures remain. Shoo. I am relieved for the summer so I can do some research again. I will be up at the Mount Desert Island Marine Lab, near Bar Harbor, ME if you want to swing by!
More later. Congrats to all the new PhD's and soon-to-be mothers in the blog audience. Good luck to you all!