The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Tag Archives: grad school


I’m applying for Teaching Assistant jobs right now (ok, not right now, but close enough). 

I’m starting to wish (not for the first time this year) that there was one universally-accepted form that could be submitted to the endless slew of people who need me to describe why I think I am teh awesome in 2000 words or less.  Plus publications.  And relevant work experience. And relevant coursework. 

I’m getting very good at application-filling-outing, but it’s time consuming.  Thank gawd for “cut and paste”. 

That said, it’s worth filling out just one more application (ha, I wish) in order to be granted the opportunity to shape and influence young, impressionable minds.  I wonder what class I’ll get…Evolution and Phylogeny? Wildlife Conservation? Population and Community Ecology? 

*rubs hands with great gloms of geekish glee* 


Random Digression: tonight I prepared roasted garlic-thyme butter as my contribution to a company potluck breakfast tomorrow (I was put on butter duty and subsequently informed by an ex-chef coworker that it would be totes lamesauce to simply show up with a block of plain butter, which was totes my original intention).  Having succumbed to peer pressure, I now have one beautiful roll of plain butter and one of fancy herbed butter ready to be sliced into artful discs for my coworkers’ consumption.  My assessment of this “herbed butter” thing: very tasty (and pretty!), but OMG labour-intensive.  And now I have a food processor to hand-wash.  I think I will pretend I don’t see it until tomorrow morning. 


Dear Ms Who, me?
Congratulations!  It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been accepted into Graduate Studies at The University, one of the leading research-intensive universities in North America.
Blahdeblah omitted
You have been approved to study in the following:


I can haz letter now plz?

According to my calculations

today should be the day that I get the letter. *

After I get home from a long, painful thrilling day of drafting a Best Practices Handbook (ZOMG lookit the pretty Org Charts! excuse me while I throw up in my mouth), and it’s pitch black because I was held up at the office to accomodate some last-minute meeting request (again) and there was construction on the bridge (again) which prolonged my commute by a sublimely aggravating additional half hour, and there’s still dinner to be cooked and dogs to be fed, and dangitall I forgot to pick up bread for tomorrow’s lunch on the way home, all of which amounts to me being tired and cranky and feeling sorry for myself……

after all that my lovely wife will greet me at the door and say, “Here’s the mail you’ve been waiting for!” And we will open the letter together and then toast my success and then exhale because the bulk of my funding/ scholarships will be secured.

* O.k., so I admittedly have no actual evidence to support this theory, but dammit I better get that freaking letter soon before I lose my freaking mind.

Hot off the press!

A forwarded email in my hotmail account:

Dr. B:

The Graduate Recommendation Form for Ms. Who, me? has been completed by Dr. SomeGuy
on SomeInternalApplicationComputeryThingamabob.

(This is the critical bit:) Ms. Who, me? should hear from The University’s Admission within the next few days.

Fyi, The Admin Assistant


The kind of teacher I want to be

I spoke with Dr. B yesterday…I have another grant to apply for (by Friday, eek!) It looks like I’ll be spending 6-8 weeks in the Place of Moving Water this summer, setting up field studies and also spending a fair bit of time liasing with the local people, and working on training/education opportunities for students there.

This is a really, really cool (and rare) opportunity; not only will I be engaging in buggy, geeky goodness in an extremely new type of environment (for me), I’ll also get a chance to immerse myself in the socio-ecological context of my project AND pad my training/teaching resume a bit.

Teaching is just as important to me as the research itself: I love it. There are few things more rewarding than making students care about something seemingly mundane…being able to help them see and appreciate the extreme awesomeness of nature, and being able to actually connect with students on that point…to send out enthusiasm and excitement about a topic, and receive it right back. To make them want to come back for more.

When I worked at The Large Nature Museum, there were a few times where I had a person or a family trail me litterally all afternoon, simply because they got hooked on what I was telling them and they wanted MORE. (And boy oh boy in a room full of dinosaurs and with the mouth on me I can keep an audience busy for HOURS if they’re willing.)

I’ve had the privilege of being taught by a few amazing teachers…people whose enthusiasm for their subject matter was positively infectuous. One in particular…I always swore that the man could be talking about pocket lint and I’d be positively enthralled. THAT’s the kind of teacher I want to be.

I really hope that I can live up to that and inspire some young people this summer.

%d bloggers like this: