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.