January 12, 2010
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I am in the throes of my annual New Year’s cold. Without fail, after a little R&R at the end of a busy holiday season, my immune system goes “KERSPLAT” and I wind up sick. So here I sit, with a cup of tea, a phlegmy, throbbing skull and a wastebasket full of wadded-up kleenex. It the midst of all this, I’m trying to get prepped for my first “real” week of school. To wit:
- First teaching lab
- First class (Forest Entomology)-I’m just sitting in, but still have reading to do
- First Big Meeting To Nail Down Details Of My Research So I Can Start Preparing For Summer Field Work
The first one is proving to be the biggest challenge so far, in terms of prep. This first three-hour lab covers 3 exercises and 3 major animal groups: Protozoa, Porifera, Cnidaria. My phlegmy brain is struggling to dredge up and reconfigure its decade-old knowledge of non-arthropod taxonomy and classification, let alone anatomy.
Similarly, it’s been so long since I’ve really had to critically read and analyse scientific literature, that I’m finding the review for the Ent class slow-going. I am taking the time to make sure I really understand the material, though; I have my trusty biology dictionary and google close at hand, and I’m using them. There are many terms that I know I know, but haven’t been using day-to-day, so my comprehension is a tad rusty.
These first few weeks and months are going to consist of a very steep learning curve (or re-learning in many cases); but it’s certainly not insurmountable and I’m ready for the challenge.
In the meantime, my four-legged crew is helping to keep me on track.