1. My new job – My only request when I knew that I would be moved to a new school was that they try to find me a position at the same grade level. I’m pretty sure I said that I would go to any school in order to stay in first grade. While I love first graders, I was actually thinking that my graduate school workload would be increasing and I’d like to know what I was doing in one area of my life! Even though I’ve got a full class of little ones, this year is going so much more smoothly than last year. Anyone who knew about my class last year knows that it was a bit trying. It’s always hard to adjust to a new environment, new administration, and new teammates, but I feel that the transition is going well.
2. Research – I’ve been thinking about my thesis topic since the day I started graduate school. (Mostly because they told us to start thinking of one on the first night of class.) When my research class finally rolled around, I had narrowed down the field that I wanted to study. A few dozen articles later, I tossed out a few topics and really tried to hone in on my subject. Here’s the best part: I actually enjoy it! Let me clarify…reading, re-reading, trying to figure out how to cite something, and deciding how to organize thoughts so they flow nicely are not that much fun. However, it is great to feel like I’m a mini-expert in a particular area that interests me. Or at least I’m familiar with the names of the experts in that field!
3. The AMAZON – Last year on my second trip to Peru, the leaders started tossing around ideas about other potential end-of-trip vacation spots. We love our little side trip to Cuzco/Machu Picchu, but there are many other places to see. I was psyched that the first one on the list was the Amazon Rainforest. Now those who know me best can tell you that my idea of camping is staying at a Motel 6. But I was eager to overcome the fear of the unknown (including a yellow fever shot & malaria pills) in order to see one of the most fascinating places in the world.
It did not disappoint! I rode in all varieties of water craft, walked on gang planks, hiked through muddy jungle trails, wore multiple layers of bug spray & sun screen, whistled at pink dolphins, trudged carefully through the jungle in the pitch black, talked to Pedro the macaw, fished for piranha, and came home with only two bug bites. And that’s only part of the story. While there are many other places I would rather visit first, I’m not opposed to going to the jungle again. I know exactly what to pack now! ;)
Stay tuned for part 3!