Monday, October 09, 2006

Desert, here I come!

Ok, here's what's been happening...
I spent the weekend measuring lizards (and being bitten by them. I have a very embarassing bite-mark on my nose...). Today my supervisor was back (with poofy, poofy hair - made meetings difficult... I never learned how to control my giggling!) and I sat and processed my data. There's still a lot to do on it, but I made relatively good progress. I'm aiminy to be done by Wednesday (famous last words) so I can do my analysis and have all my results done by the end of the week.

I also have to do a presentation tomorrow for one of my courses, so I've been writing my essay. I've written about 6-7 pages, nothing groundbreaking in terms of content, but it's ok.

I also got my feedback from my presentation. It was all really nice, I got lots of 'confident delivery' and 'entertaining' and a lot of stuff I just couldn't read. Academic's handwriting is worse than doctors! It was a boost that I really needed. I also showed it to my supervisor and he couldn't read it either, but seemed pleased/relieved.

The Australian is also back, so I have someone to talk to in labs. He's a bit scared of Melville, they had a shaky start, but getting along ok right now. He also spoke some Afrikaans and I nearly fell over I laughed so hard!

After he (and my supervisor) left, I got to work on my essay and actually made some headway before I left at about 8. It's about 3/4 done, so I'm hoping I can finish and do a presentation before 11, otherwise I'll be reading excerpts in class tomorrow!

Anyway I just got an sms to check my email from Luke. Last year we went to catch mole-rats with one of my supervisor's post-docs. It was fantastic and a lot of fun and I've been wishing I could do it again. Anyway Luke and I went to a talk on fossilised termitaria and what we can understand about the evolution of eusocial behaviour from them. The guy also mentioned mole-rats and it quickly became apparent that he had what he was talking about (and that's not just my 'know-it-all scientist speaking, he was confusing rodents and insectivores!). Anyway, he introduced us to the newest mole-rat student, who was very German and equally hopeless, albeit in a very inexperienced way. She needed field assistants, but we were too busy, so she took our names an email addresses so that she could get in touch with us about a trip in December.

In the meantime I was supposed to go to a herpetology conference in November but didn't get around to submitting an abstract. To tell the truth, I'm a lousy herpetologist (no, really lousy) and felt that it would be a bit wasted on me.

Anyway I ran to check my email tonight to find an email from this girl, saying that she still needs helpers, and it's 3 locations, one right by Cape Town, one in Namaqualand, and one in a private game reserve in the kalahari!!! I've never been to a desert before, but always wanted to go to one! Which was partly why I was fighting so hard for Namibia.

The only thing that could be a problem (seeing that I managed to free myself up for the end of November by being unenthusiastic) is that we have to be around to meet the external examiners at some stage at the end of November. I need to check dates and I'll email her tomorrow.

It's so exciting!!!! DESERT!!! and mole-rats!!!

sorry about the punctuation, I'm just a bit over- excited at the moment!

hee hee! DESERT!!!



Good night.



Anonymous said...

You work very diligently.

Anonymous said...

your work intrigues me. i've never seen such a reaction over deserts and especially mole-rats.

congrats on the presentation feedback too!

sarah said...

mole rats!

hee hee

send me a postcard

Helen said...

I can't, because I'm going to be entirely unreachable by ANYONE (in particular my supervisor who will want me to work)But I'll take LOTS of photos!!!

EEbEE said...

Why are Germans useless!

I happen to know that they are very efficient.
Unless they have drunk/are busy drinking beer.
Okay so they drink beer most of the time.

Anyway germans can even sleep efficiently so they cover up for the beer

Helen said...

I never said Germans are useless. I said that she was as useless as she was German (i.e. VERY) she's very German and hardly speaks English.

The Australian's refusing to speak afrikaans now :(