Monday, July 19, 2010

foundation-less fear

countdown: approximately five weeks

i've been getting heaps and heaps of ORSS-related emails recently. they're mostly boring, logistical drivel: fill out this form, check out this website, etc. etc. that is, things that have to get done for me to be involved in the program, but that are not very exciting.

today i got an email that was cleverly disguised as more bureaucratic business but actually contained the tidbit of information i've been waiting for ever since i was accepted to the program. hidden amongst the numerous instructions and links was this sentence: "Mark Bevelhimer will be your host".

i think this guy is going to be my mentor!

there appears to be quite an emphasis on physics, quantum mechanics, computers, and the like at oak ridge. which are awesome things, don't get me wrong, i just know nothing about any of them. i've been increasingly worried that there would be no opportunities for a lone bio major like myself at oak ridge and they would kick me out of the program.

okay, maybe that's an excessively paranoid thought. nevertheless, that worry has now been squashed!

mark bevelhimer is an aquatic ecologist. he appears to do most of his work on fisheries and hydropower. this placement may actually work out great for me. aquatic ecology is a pretty big focus at lawrence because of bart de stasio (and sumner richman before him), and as a consequence i've wound up doing aquatics research this summer, which will lead into an independent study on aquatics next winter, which may lead into an honors project on aquatics.

so if my research at ORSS is on aquatics, it will fit nicely into my situation. i will get more experience with the field and hopefully be able to do some networking. it's actually pretty perfect...wuhoo!

i have a hunch that this placement isn't mere coincidence, though. i think that whoever makes these sort of decisions was definitely paying attention to my resume when trying to find a lab for me.

even though some of these logistical details are a little annoying, it seems like there are some good, competent people working for this program and the details are just a result of their meticulous attention to detail. which rocks.

summer is halfway over, which means my time in tennessee is creeping closer and closer. and i'm way more excited now that i have an idea of what i'll be doing.

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