How strange to call this planet 'Earth' when quite clearly it is ocean. Arthur C. Clarke

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Graduate Program Begins

A week ago I flew to California, moved into a solo apartment, and two days later began a new graduate program at the University of California in Santa Cruz's department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I've waited to do this for six months now. So it feels pretty normal.

It feels really normal, actually. The transition so far is pretty seamless. Over the past year, I've been talking to grad students from all over about their experiences, I've been in communication with my new advisors, I've been trying to get a head start on readings all summer, and I've convinced myself that this endeavor--working toward a PhD--will be the most difficult, stressful, and rewarding experience of my life. So far, the only differences in lifestyle I've really noticed since I arrived is that I've been meeting a lot of new people, eating a lot of free food, and biking up really long, steep hills among a lot of sequoias, so I'm feeling rather good about all of it.
Oh, and I live with a dog that barks really loud. That one is hard to ignore. At least he's cute.

That's it for now. I should really finish reading this chapter about selection that I've been working on for at least an hour now. Enjoy some photos of campus!

View from main campus. The marine lab is not on the main campus.

The backyard of the marine lab. It is down the hill from main campus.
This is the Monterey Bay. You can see Monterey in the background. 
There are often humpback and other whales breaching in the bay.

Another view of the lab's backyard. Sometimes there are surfers, too.

A grey whale skeleton behind the Seymour Discovery Center, which
is located right next to the marine lab.

Tidepools by the shore behind the lab.

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