Friday, February 18, 2011

What's New?

Hi all!

Since last I posted (a real post), a lot is new in my neck of the woods!  First and foremost, I started a new and very busy, semester in January and have been enjoying the crap out of it.  Seriously!  I'm not being sarcastic.  I am in three very demanding, very interesting classes and I can't remember the last time I actually enjoyed school this much.  I may be singing a different tune come the end of the semester, when my responsibilities hit me in the face like a ton of bricks, but for now, I prefer to live in a naive state of anthropological bliss.

Aside from normal classwork and working 15 hours a week in my research assistant position, I have also been spending my free time (read: time not spent doing homework, sleeping, eating, or watching Glee) applying for a small travel grant funded by the National Science Foundation.  If I receive the grant, I will be able to use the money to travel to Bangladesh in the fall and do some preliminary research.  This would be particularly useful because it would give me some important experience, and I also happen to have a friend planning to go to the same field site at the same time I hope to go.  Sounds pretty ideal to me!  Oh, and I finally managed to submit the paper that came out of my thesis to one of the better-known journals in my discipline.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I have also signed up for the Lincoln Half Marathon, so I've been battling the elements, getting training runs in where and whenever I can.  In case you don't know, by "elements" I mean nearly 3 feet of snow.  Central MO fell victim to that massive winter storm that hit the Midwest a few weeks ago and have only begun to see the ground in the last week.  School was cancelled for three days (an actual first for the University of Missouri) and I spent some quality time in my driveway with the shovel.

Progress after 1st hour of shoveling.
I also managed to paint my bedroom, clean the house, and watch a lot of TV.  We have been enjoying spring-like temps this week, though, and I'm pretty excited to finally be able to use the trail in town again.

My hair got a little friendly with a freshly painted wall.

I'm happy to report that as tough as last semester was, with the move, trying to find my way in a new town and navigate a long distance relationship (which, admittedly, I have yet to master), this semester is shaping up to be positively awesome.  I have made a few great friends at school and am very happy to report that most of them will be around Columbia for at least another year.  I have started to become more involved on campus, attending lectures and starting a reading group with a couple of the aforementioned friends.  Now that I'm feeling a little more settled, I really like Columbia and am reassured often that I chose the right graduate program in the right town.  It doesn't hurt that I'm a short 5 hour drive from home, especially since this little guy is getting cuter by the minute:
Seriously.  Whenever I need a good pick-me-up, I just go to my sister's Facebook page and go through baby pictures.  They always put a smile on my face.

So...  That's a quick rundown of what has been going on in my life.  No amazing insights and it sounds a little like the purpose statement I wrote for the grant earlier today.  But, I figured that even a less-than-eloquent post was better than no post at all!

What's new with you?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Wish...

I wish I were here right now...
... not surrounded by birds, of course.  But on the beach.

Side note:  For someone who is as afraid of birds as I am, I sure took a lot of pictures of them in Sanibel. Maybe Sanibel makes everything better?


Yes.  It most certainly does.