Friday, November 7, 2008

Falling half-way to China

Whew.  It's over and done with - submitted my NSF GRF proposal earlier today.  While I doubt it's good enough to land the big bucks, I'm pretty happy with what I was able to pull together in less than a month, while working a more than full time job and being outside of academia for the present (plus working the grad school application machine).  And, it looks like I haven't lost my ability to write well under pressure, which is comforting.

I'm really looking forward to catching up on the rest of my life though.  Things like laundry, grocery shopping, paperwork, correspondence, sleep, etc, which have been falling by the wayside the last week or two are crying out for attention.  All the other technicians are taking a trip to a nearby state this weekend, so I'll have lots of quiet time to attend to the details (I'm sticking around as I have to work tonight).  This will be my third night of doing field work...  makes for a very strange schedule.  I'm eating like, one or two meals a day whenever I sort of feel like it, and everything else is sort of out of whack.  Drinking little bottles of Eugenie's favorite caffeinated soda.  Hopefully this is the last night for a while though, with some luck. 

Cross your fingers it doesn't rain - makes the work a little less fun.  Also, I fell into a hole that went up to my waist the other night in the dark.  I'm pretty sure my writing prowess has conveyed my height (6'1"), but there it is just in case.  So this wasn't a little hole.  The ecosystem I'm working in is mainly coniferous, and managed by controlled forest fires.  When a tree is cut down, or falls over, the stump will actually catch on fire when burning happens.  This creates these lovely little holes - deep and narrow, which are difficult to see during the day, let alone at night, as often a bit of charcoal remains at the surface, so it there's nothing for your depth perception to notice.  Excitement.  Annnd I was wearing a pretty high quality GPS setup - hand-held unit, plus backpack antenna, to the tune of several thousands of dollars of electronics.  It's enough to make you nervous if you think about it...  Good thing (so far) that I don't scare easily in the dark.  The place we're working tonight actually has an old abandoned cemetery adjoining it...  Let's hope the spirits are in favor of ecological science!!!

Ok, time to get my act in gear and head into work.


Karina said...

ooh, you should get the other interns together to play capture the flag or kick the can in the graveyard one night. We did that in the cemetery near SFC and it was a blast. You'd be hiding in the shadows with your face pressed against a headstone and adrenaline pumping through your body when suddenly you'd remember you were in a graveyard. Oh, hello Miss Eliza Barnwell, sorry to bother you. Hope you don't mind me hiding out here for a minute...

Transient Theorist said...

This is a very, very over-grown, secret sort of cemetery. Running is liable to end with falling in a man eating hole, angering fire ants, or getting tangled/tripped by thorny Smilax vines.... so probably we'd have to bring a few first aid kits!

Actually, as far as we're concerned, until our experiment is over, the cemetery doesn't exist, as if we told anyone else about it, it might shut down our project as it would become of interest/under the jurisdiction of an archaeology research program... Shhhhh!