Wow has this trip blown by. I’m quite serious in saying that I feel like I’ve only been on Heron Island for 4 nights, let alone Australia for more than a week. But, nonetheless, today is day ten and tomorrow, we leave back to our lives outside of this course. That is intriguing and hard to think about. There have been so many new and wonderful experiences I have had on this island that I really need to write a reflective piece in my journal about it. Anyways, I’ve learned a lot about the way I want to approach my career and think that I will always look back on this trip as a reminder. I can’t wait to see what opportunities unfold from this experience in my career and outlook / adventures in life.
Today, as you may already know was presentation day. I woke up tired and anxious. Hanna and I perfected our presentation and after breakfast practiced. Fortunately as well, I talked to Pat, our incredible, simply amazing cook, about the presentations. Pat has a lot of insight on how to approach life. He says the older and older he gets, the less he cares about how things may affect him. He cares more about learning and the act of enjoying what he’s doing. He helped relieve some stress. Hanna and I did our run through and were ready to present our study on fish refuge behaviour. We stood strong. We looked into the face of death and said “nay, we shall not perish on this battlefield today, nor any day, for we stand for science. And science fuels our souls and fills our hearts with rage. Rage, rage to the dying of the night.” So yeah, we presented. It went very well if you ask me. Everyone had interesting studies and it was fun to see all of us switch into serious mode. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to present on what we did. At first I was afraid we would mess up or I would ramble (but I may have a little but hey I like that song by Led Zeppelin) but then I realized that it was fun because we were presenting on what we did and that’s cool as shit.
After the presentations, we had comical, and heart felt award ceremony (because Trisha loves giving awards). It was actually great to see that because everyone on the trip has been unique. And just as organisms in coral communities are diverse and fulfil individual niches, so did every one of us. Edd and Trisha were like the water and air, or the mediums that allowed us to behave the way we did in the first place. If it was not for their attitudes and personalities, this trip could have been drastically different. Of course I got awarded the “Best at taking shit and being the only person asked to edit a blog post award”. A little note, I may have accidentally offended some potential viewers with past post in reference to the curling pattern within one of my hairs. I deeply apologize. I can be very sarcastic sometimes (like my entire blog except for the deep hippy dippy stuff [see even that was sarcastic]). Maybe you are all part of my experiment? Maybe I’m part of an experiment. Mind exploding opossum. But yeah, presentations went well and once they were over, we were free to do whatever. We ended up playing a game of tag that left us unknowing of Sienna’s fate and then swam the conservation side again. Super rad. All of it.
Oh, and perhaps the funniest part of the trip unfolded after our swim around the wreck. So, I left my sandals on the beach, moving them up the beach to prevent them from being washed away into the ocean. Well, when I returned, they were missing. I walked over to the site I had left them and there was no sign of my sandals. Worst of all, a new ship of high schoolers (I think) came to the island and were on the docks. I couldn’t look stupid in front of them so I acted like I was looking for sea turtles. Fortunately I found one. I proceeded to walk to the group who were all watching Edd act like an idiot whale beaching himself (quality humour Edd [honestly]). But the sorrow of having my sandals swept to the sea prevented me from enjoying the moment of utter humiliation for Edd. Truly Edd, we have video. Don’t think that’s not going up all around the NR. Low and behold, I was being filmed by who else than Trisha and Cassie and Melissa (the latter two of which were corrupted by Trisha and paid to be involved). Turns out, they stole my sandals [thieves], and wanted to mess with me. That was hilarious. I’m so happy everyone is who they are on this trip. Wouldn’t want it to be any other way.
Well, it’s that time of the night again guys. I’m all typed out. This is the last blog post of Heron Island for me so don’t send love mail to the blog site, use my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe I’ll intentionally fail the course just so I will have to take it again next summer. Well, it’s been my pleasure. Love every one of you and all of my new friends. Looking forward to the reunion.
Today has been one of those days that I’d probably not look back on too fondly or remember to any real extent of my life had it not been for a couple notable moments. For the majority of the day, and I mean for most of time that I was awake, I worked on our presentation and final write up for the course final project with Hanna. That consisted of a lot of hours of synthesizing our data, interpreting our findings, trying to extrapolate real world implications, and trying to not look too stupid in Trisha and Edd’s eyes. Although it was rewarding to finally get all of that done and really see the research we put a lot of time and effort into become something tangible and useful, it was quite draining. Draining and a little stressful are the best descriptions. I even had a dream last night about traveling to space and realizing we were going to die in space because we messed up our mission prep. Coincidence, I think not. I tend to stress myself about most things in life. However, many aspects of this trip and this final project have helped me realize and try to embody not stressing about things out of my control and letting the knowledge and charisma I have take hold of my actions and mood.
Offsetting the long hours spent in the lab, we learned about a really useful referencing source that I am sure will save my ass later in life. The irony of the situation was that Edd used this simple, helpful info session to poke fun at me. Very well played. Basically, not only is he a world renowned ecologist, but he writes articles on the fascinating life of inspirational characters in the journal publication Punctuality. You should give his article a read, you may gain some insight into the incredible mind of one of the most interesting mountain man characters to walk this earth, me! Thanks Edd.
We also saw a very gorgeous sunset that settled the nerves. Let’s hope that tomorrow goes well. I’m sure it will.
Well that’s all folks, besides not mentioning Trisha does hang lose, she hangs turtle.
I don't really know what to to say for today's post. Each day continually gets slower in the design of our schedule but for some reason more stressful. Isn't that dumb? Who gets stressed on island paradises? I guess people who have to write blogs about stuff they don't know what to write about and make presentations based on science that was as interesting as it was tough. I hope I can craft a glorious write up in the morning or else I guess I should swim out into the ocean and never return. Let the current take me to a place without responsibility.
That sounded a little depressing so lets mentally laugh at it. The project is actually really fun and doing it with Hanna has made it even more fun We've had to do a lot of problem solving and braving the elements. It was super nice and sunny the whole time we've been here, but as soon as were supposed to start doing things on our own and crafting a project, it gets cloudy and windy. We basically were in a tsunami, for real.
It's actually pretty fun to struggle along with a project and have to ask Trisha and Edd for help. I learn better that way. Trial, followed by error that kinda makes me stare at a screen or wall for a while, then asking for help and seeing the process. Trisha and Edd don't spoon feed us though. We have to figure things out and build our own problem solving skills and become creative in managing our projects. It's helpful in thinking about how to approach future endeavor. I think that's meaningful.
Today we also got to swim on the conservation reef area. I hadn't done that yet and it was unique because the communities we saw did appear less disturbed. Besides the scarring from the cyclone that hit a couple months ago. Most of the fish had attitude. They looked at you like "Da fuh yo doin herh." All the little fishies were cute and fun and stared with blank, eye twitching gurnny faces. It made me laugh. But now that my beard is growing back, if I don't steal some of Colt's Vaseline, then i slowly get water that floods my nose. That sucks. Not like fishes, because they're cool.
Pretty much the rest of the day consisted of project stuff and then having MMEELLLLLLLIIISSSSAAAAA teach me and Hanna some Latin dancing. We've been pretty distracted by music and dancing so tomorrow the writing and presentation process begins with full force.
Maybe I'll go for a run too. Haven't ran on the island yet. I guess I'm lazy. Who knows, why run when you can swim. But that's a funny question because running and swimming are different. They do different things and are for different experiences. Plus, you can't swim on land. Or can you? Maybe try hard. Who knows!
K, I'm out y'all.
Night from Heron Island.
Kim, Cassie, Sienna, Melissa (Mylissa), Audree, Hanna, Tia, Colt, Kam/Camp/Sarit, Saul, Bryce are such a fun group of people. I apologize for not mentioning every single one of you in each of my blog posts. Each person is very unique and offers insight in how they view the world. This diversity within each and every one of us has generated perhaps the most enjoyable school related group setting possible. This is a friend groups where everyone contributes to fun and entertainment that Heron Island offers. Tia’s constant, warm laugh; Hanna’s perfectly awkward ferret fingers; Melissa’s Columbian attitude and frustrating ability to tan way better than anyone of us; Cassie’s tender conversation and curiosity; Audree’s glorious curls and dedication; Sienna’s artistic flare; Kim's quiet but schnazzy attitude; (pause to take a mental breathe while reading because this is a long sentence with a lot of semicolons which I believe I am using properly but have never written a sentence like this so consider this interjection a guided intermission) Bryce’s harmonic mashups; Camp simply being Camp; Saul’s witty interjections; Colt’s vast knowledge and hilarious remarks; and my “whatever you want to say” and ability to get on Trisha and Edd’s sarcastically good and slightly annoyed side, I wouldn’t want anything else. (Not to mention Edd and Trisha are freakin bosses and the raddest instructors I’ve ever had. Whoa.)
Today we started our research projects and wholly hell was that not what I expected. Hanna and I got up early tired eyed and tried to make it out in a reasonable time to get our first transect for our project done. Well, that didn’t work and we realized that when Edd and Trisha said marine sciences was a little bit of a crap shoot they were completely right. We had to rethink everything. Fortunately Edd and Trisha helped us devise a better way to test our hypothesis. Trisha also went out with us to sample in the choppy wake. That was a little tiring and turns out fish don’t like being hovered over. Like I said, a crap shoot.
Nonetheless, we will survive because we always have Led Zeppelin and artisan roast coffee. Quite random but true. Tomorrow will be a good day because we will get our sampling finished and work on the development of our presentation. I’m looking forward to overcoming my fear of completing a shitty project that Trisha and Edd think is dumb and make my momma proud!
Until tomorrow my wonderful supporters that make all the magic happen. Please lobby for me in Congress.
Oh, and Bryce and I climbed the only mountain on Heron Island today. We tested the limits of the human spirit and delved deep into the biological limitations of the human body. It was in tents. Just like camping. Hope you got that otherwise I will think less of you whoever “you” are. Just read it out loud preferably in front of a mirror so you can see your surprised, mind blown expression. That’s right beaches. Get wrecked by my ability to write comical banter that only scrapes by as mediocre.
Peace, officially. But yes, actually try and live peaceful for what you care about and for yourself. Take a little today, tomorrow, or whenever you are reading this reflect on the important things you came to realize in your own life by your own accord. But not the Honda car. That’s the wrong accord. I hope you can see that.
Oh and sorry I don't have pics. I don't have index fingers so I can't take my own photos. Just look at everyone else's'. They're pretty cool I'd say.
Today I looked up pics of Athena for Hanna to show that she is a goddess. She did not take it like she is suppose to because she was unwilling to accept her god like beauty. Beauty is not a material product of peoples expectations and interpretations of an other's self. It is the manifestations of life and existence that is in everybody because they are alive, and they can love and cherish the world around them. Beauty is an expression of the deepest and most personal of decisions. This produces a comfortable essence that attracts similarly minded people and insightful experiences. These harbor on the human ability to reflect, be decisive, and direct passion. Being on this island for so long and in such great company has helped me and maybe others actualize this working definition of beauty. Plus this island is TOTES GORG! And the birdies that walk around the bathroom and hopefully don't drown in the ocean (like the one we saw today) are so cute and soft and fluffy. I like it when the sun set because it makes pretty colors that I like to imagine in my mind when I am tired and need to sleep(which I value greatly as I previously mentioned, Trisha).
Aside from the fun time on the beech and in the water with the pretty clouds and the forrest of Cowhead stingrays, there were several notable events that happened today. Initially I misspelled Mylissa's name in my last post it is no longer mylissa with a "y" she will now be referred as The Melissa who say Iki Iki tong elerup Mellisa without a Y. We had a very eventful conversation during lunch where we talked about poop and all the poop research Colt knows. We played a very interesting Thai version of rock, paper, scissors in which Sarit/Kamp/Camp and I challenged each other for the right to be the mans man. It ended in red hands and smiley faces of the bystanders who observed such a spectacular display of human resilience. This immaculate feast inspired the minds and expanded the inner most recesses of the heart. Also, it was really fun joking around and being goobbss with everyone at the table, because that was the best moments of the trip so far. The entertainment and politically correct fun was tarnished by one slightly obscene act of cultural appropriation on behalf of our illustrious instructor, Trisha Atwood. (Sorry Trisha I had to put this in here because you told me not to, but it was actually pretty funny you have to admit. For all those who I do not know of whom may or not be potentially and indirectly reading my bloggy blog posts Trisha is one of the most professional, caring, and inspiring people I have ever met and I'm honored to have the opportunity to tool around in her field, learning from her many years of experience. I also am honored to work for her and if anyone is searching for a recommendation on her, and Edd's for that matter [although he is English], I would be more than happy to provide that ).
Hannnnnnnna and I worked on our proposal for our group project, it is way better than everyone else's (just ask Trisha and Edd). Funny story, Trisha told me that she always thought I was a little shy and quiet. It's funny because that impression came from the first field outing I had with her on the Diamond Fork Project. We were with a bunch of PhD peeps and of course I was intimidated. I'm happy now that we, along with everyone else is comfortable with each other on this tinny island. Otherwise I guess we'd go crazy and eat each other. Anyways, back to what Hanna was typing for me (PS Hanna is typing for me). Our project is observing fish move from the sediment to the coral during high and low tide, and we have to wake up early in the morning...and it's kind of late...and I want sleep....and Hanna's fingers are tired typing....and I don't know what else to say in this blog other than the fact that day 6 was dope! Night ya'll
Day Five: Time to Jive
Basically today consisted of Jokes of Hanna and me missing out on cool things and messing up all of the group photos.
Apparently, the morning swim with Edd was exciting. I fell asleep instead. We adventured out into the deep blue again. It seems to be the norm for me to be right where something fun or interesting happens and then vanish right as the thing I wanted to see happens. I missed sea turtles, sharks, and the manta ray. I was right next to the area we saw it but in the instant it showed up decided to leave, I guess. And I guess I also left Hanna and she drifted off into the distant waters until Melissa rescued her. This is just an accusation. Never happened. Also, apparently Colt found a giant cone shell and I really wish I was there to see it.
Instead of helping Audree with her project, I ended up sleeping and going for a walk with Bryce, Kim, Tia, and Kam / Camp / Sarit. We had a good time talking about dogs and watching Sarit / Kam / Camp catch guitar sharks with his ninja Thia skills. We were just strollin and chillin on the beech and than Camp / Sarit / Kam saw a broom. The broom offered some eventful, quality comedy. I got to pose with mermaids and not look like a pimp. Also, ferret tag is pretty rad. Look it up if you’re interested. Boy do I need to get back into running and climbing. We also saw a crab. My train of thought is quite consistent and fluid, obviously.
Just a comment, I would include pictures but I have thoroughly enjoyed not using my phone for the better part of two weeks and that has been wonderful. I’m going to do my best to continue that habit when I get back to the states. In other words, I will be and Aussie tanned, super hunky fit, science babe who doesn’t use his phone by the end of the summer.
Prior to our lecture, Edd and Trisha decided it was a good time to try and take some good group photos. It was hilarious watching everyone tumble off of the triangle they tried to build. Apparently, if you asked Trisha, I ended up messing up every photo that was good. In some way I made the photos look awkward whether it was by me being more attractive or confident than others or just from not being nervous to show my “features”. But it was all in good fun. Sea cucumbers make for quality props.
We also got more insight into the history of ferret fingers at dinner. That was a hoot. I think that is what I have enjoyed most about this trip. It is a combination between science and education and then just having human, entertaining conversations with really fun and interesting people. I have thoroughly enjoyed up to now the opportunity to get to know just a diverse group of people. We are all friends and it is really showing in the fun that we have that we are comfortable with each other and starting to settle in as a group of science-fied yeehahs.
Tomorrow Hanna’s and mine group project will begin. Let’s hope Edd and Trisha don’t think our idea sucks haha.
Good night ya’ll.