Wednesday, February 24, 2010

20 Years of Waiting are Finally Over

So I have lots to say today, but don't worry it's all really worth reading, I promise.

Looking back on my life, I realize that I have spent 15 years studying fish and marine life, and I have spent 15 years not getting the kind of education or classes I truly want until now. Yes, uni back in Utah was great and I took classes I wanted, but nothing could ever compare to the want and passion I have for marine life. For the first time in my life I truly feel like I am getting what I have always wanted out of life. It's the most amazing feeling to be sitting in a class learning about tidal upwellings, the corialis effect, marine taxonomy, etc. I love it.

For my wetland ecosystems class, it is accompanied by a 4 hour field lab! Yesterday we headed out to lismore lake. In reality it's a total mistake of a lake. The council built it for a waterskiing lake, but made the genius mistake of making it ABOVE the water table, which mean it would need constant maintenance. So they decided to scrap that idea and just make it into a bird sanctuary. Much better idea in my opinion. So the day consisted of wading through grass/water/mud stuff (and getting my legs scratched to an oblivion!) to get water samples, do pH testing, salinity testing, dissolved oxygen testing, learn to do plant sampling, and fish sampling. Awesome fun. At one point during the day, I was out holding this pole about 10 m from shore (we were during quadrec plant sampling) standing in about waist deep water, with lots of algae and plants surrounding my legs. All of a sudden I felt all these little pricks on my thighs, not painful pricks, nothing like a needle, but just little pokes. I looked down, and there was about 40 mosquito fish (little guppies) nibbling on my leg! They were just picking off stuff, apparently I had a lot of junk on my leg! It was kinda cool. I felt like I was in some high end spa where people pay thousands to get pedicures with fish cleaning, but then I opened my eyes and realized I was standing in the pouring ran, 6 inches of mud, and I smelled like a fermenting lake. Not really thousand dollar spa quality.

My Coastal Marine Ecosystems class was just as incredible. Monday was our into to the lab. When I walked into the lab my jaw hit the floor. I'm used to the lovely smelly basement labs of USU, with their chipping turquoise linoleum counters, florescent neon lights, and the jars of who-knows-what specimens. Those labs however taught me so much. I learned all my freshwater fish species in those labs, I played with madagascar hissing cockroaches in those labs. I LOVE USU. I owe everything to that university. Without them, I would not be here right now, so those labs will always have a place in my heart.
This lab here at SCU is on the 2nd floor of the biology building, which means three of the wall are solid glass panes, so the lab is light mostly by natural light, which if you have to be inside is the only way to go. Florescent lights are for sucks. I could never have a desk job. The lab tables are huge, about 6 m. long, and they are hard wood lamanated counters, to the lab is just beautiful! Each table has 2 plasma screens mounted in the ceiling, with cameras so you can project what you're doing on the table. They all have really modern lab sinks at the end, and each table has about 20 cushioned leather bar stools on either side, ant there are 8 lab tables, so this is a REAL lab. It's huge and amazing, and I can't wait to do some serious research here. Everything is really just perfect out here. It's an incredible feeling to have.

NEVER give up on going out and getting what you want. It is worth it. You will work hard, and you may have people say you can't, but YOU CAN! The world is yours for the taking, don't let it pass you by.