September 28, 2012
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This installment of PF is a bit of a deviation, in that you’re getting VIDEOgraphy instead of PHOTOgraphy. It’s nothing spectacular, but at least I’ve followed Alex Wild’s macrovideo tip #1: use a tripod. I hope that’s ok.
I made this very silly video early this week. I’m actually planning on using this and other footage to make a much more sensible “Arachnid Anatomy” video to add to my collection of zoology lab vids.
You may recall a certain post from the fall of 2010, in which I described a harrowing and hair-raising encounter with The Biggest Spider in Ever (i.e., Araneus gemmoides, the cat-faced spider). I survived that dramatic event, and I hadn’t come across that particular species of orb-weaver again until this year. We’ve actually had two simply MASSIVE females living on our property all summer – one under the second-story eaves and one under the roof of our woodshed.
I have been working very conscientiously at overcoming my very silly fear of spiders. (It’s a ridiculous affliction for any self-respecting entomologist, although I have been assured that I am not alone *ahem, Ted, Shelly, Alex*).
Anyways, you can see that I’ve come a very long way in two years! If there are any other arachnophobes out there, please rest assured that there’s hope for you yet! 😀
On a completely unrelated note, it’s been a bit quiet here because I’ve been getting re-accustomed to having a teaching/coursework workload, and because I’ve been prepping for a conference taking place this weekend, and because other reasons. Like new projects and social media addictions: I HAVE A TUMBLR. WITH LOTS OF PHOTOS AND STUFF. IT’S AWESOME. CHECK IT OUT. (Tumblr seems to be the perfect blogging format for a person such as myself, i.e., one with the attention span of a gnat. But fear not, I’ll still be here in full force once I stop panicking about conferences).
February 27, 2012
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Lately, I’ve been thinking about how weird it is being a grad student.
Not BAD weird (necessarily) but weird, as in, “not like normal life”. It’s very different from the life I remember when I had a Real Job and worked for the government. A “9-5” day does not exist. Neither does a five-day work week. My time is not really my own, even if it’s mine to manage. I’m starting to think that time management in grad school is not a mere professional skill that one learns by using day planners and calendars; it’s more like a mystic art form that requires trekking to some sacred mountaintop where you eat only grass and fight ninjas before the Great Secret of Getting Things Done In A Timely Manner is passed on to you. I blogged/ranted a little more about some of these ideas here last week.
Being a grad student is SO weird, that the experience seems to be almost universal in its weirdness. We’re caricatures, we grad students. That’s probably why I laughed my butt off when I watched this:
Even though that video featured a biomed student, I’m sure I’ve said 90% of those things at some point during my grad programs (pretty much all of it but the stuff about my PI hating me and bit about the lasers – but give it time, give it time – I’m not going to be done for 2 years…no 4…no 6…well, a while anyways. I’m sure I can find a reason to use lasers for something).
The weirdest thing of all, perhaps? Despite the crazy hours, self doubt, failed experiments, writers block, nerve-wracking exams, and uncertainty about the future, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
April 12, 2010
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Behold: the thunderous roar of approaching doom!
Dogs and caddisfly larva-watching do NOT mix well. Blarg.
April 3, 2010
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Thirty. Five. Fracking. Degrees.
This is insane. It is just not meant to be thirty-five fracking degrees on April 3 in eastern Ontario. It just isn’t.
Everyone is confused. I’ve seen two garter snakes this weekend. I had to swerve on a dirt road to avoid smucking a hopping toad. I…I…well, just LISTEN to this:
Does that sound like April 3 to you? Nosirreebob, it does NOT.
I fear that, if we get another cold snap (which almost certainly will happen) all the temperature-sensitive critters are going to suffer greatly.
Peepers, go back to bed!!!!