This started out as a short-lived study-abroad blog when I was in Edinburgh, and then was briefly updated last year during my Take 5, mostly because my adviser asked me to write something she could show the NSF to demonstrate the benefits of taking undergrads into the field. I had the idea at the time that I would keep up writing posts to document my T5, but that fizzled right off the bat, because there’s nothing I like more than not doing things I don’t need to do. I thought about starting it up again this past summer, what with graduation, some fun field work trips, and starting at a new school, but see the aforementioned statement about doing things. Doing things is the worst.
However, it’s just over a month into the semester now, and I’m once again rethinking this blog thing. For one, it’s fellowship application season, and I’ve realized just how rusty my writing skills are right now. More importantly though this month has made me realize just how much grad school is going to shift the balance in my life. I double majored in English because I really enjoy both writing and studying literature, and between that and Take 5 I’ve never had to buckle down and just study one thing exclusively as I am now. It’s geology all day everyday, except when there’s math. Not complaining about too much science (just the math, definitely the math), but I do miss the ability to explore a range of interests within my studies and I’m realizing it’s going to take a lot more work now to maintain that. So I’m thinking that I can use this blog as a way to keep writing and include some wider topics rather than just working in the lab all day and turning into a sloth the rest of the time. In keeping with a long tradition of shame-induced productivity, I’m hoping that having declared my intentions I’ll be honor-bound to follow through. There will probably be some stuff on environmental topics, maybe some geology or archaeology related news, or just whatever is going on here.
A bit of an update: I’ve been at Cornell since the end of August, and other than busy-ness it’s been great so far. I’ve got an idea where my research is going – I’ll be studying how earthquakes can be caused by human activity like fracking or the creation of reservoirs. I love UR and everyone there, but when I’d say I was a geology major the most common response was “Oh, I didn’t know we did that here.” Whereas Cornell often seems like one massive, life-scale laboratory for every aspect of earth sciences. I hiked along one of the gorges last weekend and could have been in complete wilderness, except that every mile or so would be a sign for things like the “Cornell Wetlands Management Project” or the “Forest Farming Research and Education Center,” also known as the MacDaniels Nut Grove. The benefits of being a land-grant institution…You want rock cut gorges? We got twenty. We’ve got soils and crop science galore. Solar panels and lake source cooling for AC? Plenty.
But who cares about that – I also have some tragic news; I will not be able to make it to Meliora Weekend this year, alas. From Oct. 14 to 29 I will be doing fieldwork in Ethiopia; this will be similar to the work I did in Tanzania, but a whole new environment and group of researchers. So most likely the next post I make will be a recap of that trip! Which I have not properly packed, prepared, or received a visa for yet, so back to work!