Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why Texas?

Before picking up my little life in Florida and trekking all the way over to Texas to return to my backpack-toting, sneaker-wearing days, I led a very different life. I worked as a public event coordinator for a museum back in the FL, and got constantly teased about my attempts at being "business casual" (I'm sorry, but I thought shopping at Gap and Ann Taylor automatically gave me style, no?). Sensible heels were a semi-weekly part of my wardrobe, and I owned not one, not two, but three suit-jackety-thingies (yeah, I still don't know what they are). I worked 50+ hour weeks with no benefits (yay OPS state employment), and was a generally unhappy person.

Enter the grad school decision. I subscribe to a wonderful listserv called ECOLOG-L, which sounds like some sort of programming language. It's actually a great forum for biological scientists, ecologists, and conservationists to post about job vacancies, opinions on field equipment, and even general policies about current topics. One night, I was randomly browsing through the 15+ emails a day that I get from ECOLOG, and I happened to see a grad school opportunity. The posting offered a website link to a lab, and details about how to apply. I clicked the link, and I'll say this - I knew from the homepage that I belonged in this lab. My now-advisor, then potential-advisor is wonderful; she's charismatic, enthusiastic, current, and into everything. She has a great style and writing voice, which is seriously awesome, considering she's only been speaking English for about 10 years! I love her to pieces, and I sent her an email that night with my letter of intent and CV. Within weeks we scheduled a phone interview and I applied to the school. Six months later I packed my life into a u-haul trailer (which, towed by my Mitsubishi Lancer, was a very interesting journey), traded in my business slacks for faded jeans and zip off pants, and headed west. Well, south first (pre-grad school field season in Panama), then west to TEXAS.

So, here I am. Enjoying the first "Spring Break" I've had in 4 years. If I was still in FL, I'd be scrambling around after camp kids right now..... spring and summer are not fun times when 70% of your job involves camp administration. Instead, I am furiously reading all the WeddingBees I can get to in one day - as soon as I found that site, I knew I needed to be one of them! Ahh! But, more on that later - we're a year and a half away from our wedding, and I have a lot to do in the meantime.

Oh, I also need to make a statement here. In my last (and first) post, I referred to the man in my life as my fiancee... which is true, although I think I'd like to give him a nickname for blogging purposes. Since his name only has 3 letters, I thought long and hard about how to come up with a shorter nickname for him (the 3 letter name is actually a nickname, he got screwed somehow and ended up with a girl's name, but more on that later too....). So for writing purposes my man will be known as PB (Pappa Bear). PB can sleep like nobody I've ever met. I regularly have to wake him up from four or five hour naps on the weekends if I actually want to go out and do something (like eat dinner). When I wake him up, he stretches out really big and yawns really long and loud, just like a bear waking up in the springtime. Hence, the nickname was born. :)

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