silly season for aussies = summer, christmas, new years, music festivals
2 more nights to the falls festival, it’s gonna be epic!
so here’s what’s been going on since exams ended:
1) moving to in new share house
this is my first experience living in a share house and having housemates, who are all very lovely and great! moving from college to the house was surprisingly pretty alright. no tears, no lost items, no blood, no screaming but mess.. yes.
to those who know me, or at least know my housemates.. it wasnt surprising that i was the last to get all my bedroom furniture sorted. you can say my housemates are just super efficient or i’m just too much of a hippy. either of those options seem good to me though ;p
so my room was in a state of mess for days… it probably still is to most people but i’ve tried my best. i’ve been putting away my clothes from the laundry within a week.. that’s really good.. seriously.
but i’m too much of a good samaritan too.. i’ve taken so many people’s stuff into my care. my room is also a storage facility till school reopens.
the house is more or less stocked up with furniture and appliances we need. we’re got our compost bin set up, and garden is steadily filled with elsa’s and my seedlings.
our house is at such a great location. basically the equal distances from uni and city and also so near woolies. not that i should shop there too often, but it’s convenient :)
2013 is gonna be hellll awesome! i can feel it. going to school, coming home.. exciting hahaha..
2) zoology summer internship
so my plan for summer was to work, falls and head home right after falls on the 3rd of jan. then one day, i bummed into the lushest girl in school, bianca, i few minutes of talking and i was convinced i should try out for this dean’s summer scholarship thing, 2 days before the dateline for applications. i went around the school of zoology looking for a supervisor. found one and we discussed about possible internship opportunities. he had a phd student studying saltwater breeding mosquitoes and their transmission of the ross river virus in tasmania. the ross river virus is basically australia’s version of some mosquito borne disease, similar idea to malaria and dengue.
if i could choose i would be working with vertebrates and bigger animals but i’m open to everything and anything. you won’t know what you don’t like until you tried it. and besides i’ve only just finished 2nd year, i probably don’t know what i like as well. so just the opportunity (and of course 3 grand) is enough to interest me. so we (or rather the supervisor) filled in an application and printed it to be signed and submitted in time :)
so after exams, i received good news that i’ve been awarded 3 grand to work for 30 days with a research group (that is the mosquito thing) and i start early december because i had spring school in between exams and summer. so i had to push my flights back home by a month later. that means i’m only going home for 13 days.
anyway, the experience has been really great so far. i’m getting into a nice routine; going to school at 9am and returning home around 5 or later sometimes. it may seem long, it probably is, but i dont really notice time when i’m making saltwater, mounting mosquito wings, or whatever else phd student needs done. what’s most surprising is that i’m not bored looking under a microscope for hours. especially when mounting mosquito wings, which i find challenging enough to keep me engaged and fulfilled when i make a decent and beautiful slide.
challenges in mounting mosquito wings:
1) any movement of air that is slightly stronger than still air might just blow your mosquito away right in front of your very eyes. (wtf?! where did it go?!)
2) being so small and hairy, these mosquitoes have a lot of static (‘dem bitches be jumping around like crazy! shhhhhiete)
3) distilled water bottle will be temperamental and just piss out too much water on the slide, resulting in the wing curling and crumbling up under the cover slip. shiiiiete x2
more recently, after some “king” tides hit the shores of tasmania because of the sun earth moon being nicely aligned, the next day we went out to the saltmarsh to check out if they were affected. a week ago when i went out field with R (ze PhD student), it was hell dry and that day, it was inundated. thousands of mosquito larvae were seen in the water bodies where they hatched after being hit with saltwater.
we collected the larvae and brought them back to the lab to start a mini experiment for me. we had discussed that if the opportunity arises I would do my own experiment. it’s exciting, but initially I was also a little apprehensive. i’m not sure why because I’m choosing research as a career path and I should be excited about everything research related, then i came to the conclusion that i’m just lazy. to my surprise, the experiment has been rather engaging and i feel responsible for these “babies” i have to take of everyday. and getting significant results is indeed satisfying. I don’t mind going into uni everyday for 1.5h to count and feed them and watch them grow. it feels rather purposeful. hence, although others who got the scholarship and are in other research groups seem to have it easier.. (they are not in uni 9-5 like me) I don’t mind it at all.
so the experiment is looking at resource limitation affecting growth rates of this species of mosquito. there are 4 treatments, low, medium, high and extreme amounts of food given. and each treatment as 6 replicates in them. so far there are obvious differences in the growth rates between treatments and R was saying that they are probably gonna be statistically significant differences. she’s hoping to publish this experiment as part of her phd thesis, i’m stoked! having my name on a published journal article would be amazing!
working with R has been pretty fun. I’m happy that I’m happy going to uni everyday to do this internship. it’s a good sign :) i don’t mind doing fieldwork thursday, despite R and I always praying that the saltmarsh would be dry so there’s no sampling to be done and we can finish fieldwork earlier hahaha! it’s funny like that. R is really cool too, she’s a fun person to hangout with despite being a mature aged student. she’s straightfoward, frank and always has interesting things to share. and not to mention has done some very interesting traveling that i’m keen to do some day as well!
3) Falls fest 2012/2013
i’ll just summarise falls fest this year:
weather: hot and cold windy. very windy. super windy. ridonkulous windy.
line up: awesome
fav sets: sbtrkt, two door cinema club, beach house, bombay bicycle club, jinja safari, dj nu mark
dance dance dance dance dance!! i need to go to other music festivals in australia to see if i generally get the same vibe across music festivals here. what i love about the falls is that there’s space to dance. people are spontaneous and no one really gives a shit if you are consumed in your own world. from past experiences in sg, i often find myself trying not to hit people around me if i jump or whatever. but here.. maybe its the space maybe its the people but most people let go of their inhibitions.
summer break’s been enjoyable so far. i’m really liking life here. i’m still excited to go home though, i just wanna see everyone’s face!!!