Summer Update

Well long time no see. Goodness it seems like one moment it was May and I was getting excited for summer. Then I blinked and now August is approaching. Guess I should inform y’all of what I’ve been up to these past few months.

First of all, I’ve got a bit of a bronze moment going on because I actually went outside this summer for more than a few minutes. I bought a Discover pass when I renewed my plate tabs. Essentially a Discover pass is like a season pass for the state parks here in WA. So if the pass costs me $30 and the regular entrance fee (without pass) is $10, that means I have to go to at least 3 parks to pay off the pass. I’m pleased to announce I have gone to 2 parks as of the end of July–I only need one more before May 2018 before I feel less guilty about my purchase.

The first one I went to was Little Spokane River. To me it seems like that area is great for kayakers/canoes and perhaps not the best for hikers. For one, half the trail is by the river with wonderful scenery and views, but then the other half is in this un-shaded no man’s land with nothing other than dirt and bugs. Would not recommend for hiking.

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Completed 50% of the Little Spokane River loop

Then I went to Riverside State Park and that one was spectacular! Although the hike was not very long (2 mi loop), there are many offshoots to go off and look around. Not to mention the rollin’ river was b-e-au-tiful. 5/5 would recommend, but if being around a ton of families is not your thing then perhaps not.

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Hanging out on the river side (hehe, get it? I’m at Riverside state park)

Course summer would not be “complete” without a trip to Couer d’ Alene. Fun fact: the first time I swam in a lake was three years ago in Couer d’ Alene. The first time I swam there I said, “Look at me! I’m actually in a lake!” So naturally I announce that, “I’m in the lake” every time from then on. On my most recent visit James and I split a gooey which is essentially one big ice cream sundae. I proceeded to get a sugar rush and crash a couple hours later.

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Before the sugar rush.

And finally I got to see the fam-bam in June as “bonus” visit (usually I make it back once/year) but alas I was in CO once more to celebrate my cuzzo’s wedding (if you’re reading this, congratulations again). Although it was a short visit (3 days), it was still really nice to see everyone again. I even saw some family that I haven’t seen in years, and it turns out I’m the only one whose out of state. I still get those a proud moments when I realize I’m a lone ranger because it took some nerve to leave my comfort zone and it’s nice to be reminded of my bravery every once in awhile.

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Reception at the Boulder Museum of Modern Art. My outfit matches the paintings. 😀

In regards to work, well I can see the light now, but I’m not at the end of the tunnel yet…if that analogy makes sense. There are still a couple experimental problems I need to sort through and there are no set dates, but now I have to think about life after graduation (gasp).

A simple chart of my education thus far:

elementary school ⇒ middle school ⇒ high school diploma ⇒ BAs (at CU) ⇒ PhD (at WSU).

Where “⇒” indicates “straight to.”

The main conclusion from my chart is that I didn’t take any breaks from school since elementary school. Think about it. I have been a student for a majority of my life. #datstudentlyfetho

Sooner than later, I will not be a student anymore. I will have to…

ENTER THE REAL WORLD!

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Remember this show? It was terrible.

I mean, besides lifeguarding I worked in lab doing research. For the last few years, I’ve been able to set my own schedule which includes coming and going as I please so long as the work gets finished. Sooner or later I will be held more accountable for my whereabouts.

So what’s next you may ask? Either become a grant-writing-stone-hearted principal investigator who lurks over their staff and quietly asks them, “what are you doing?”, or the professor that looks like they could be your classmate until they get to the podium and hands out a pop quiz. lol.

Frankly, I’m still not sure because I think I could excel either way (except I will need to work on the mental toughness because I haven’t handled rejection very well in the past). But I do know that I can’t confide in school anymore to delay my entry into the real world. lol.

I think that’s it for my summer report. I hope you guys are having a wonderful summer. As for me, I need a real vacation here soon! So please send an escape squad to the 4th floor of the Pharmaceutical building at WSU Spokane to bust me outta here. Thank you. ^_^

-Sabrina

 

Weekends

In the three years as a PhD student, I’ve learned to cherish the weekend.

I mean, as a undergrad I had so much stuff going on because of all the classes I was taking that I granted myself only Friday and Sunday nights as time off.

Now I’m like, “if I can manage not to go into lab this weekend, I will work as late as need be.” (But I’m not opposed to going in for a hour or so if needed.)

Why do I have this mentality? Because being a PhD student is a whirlwind experience that no one warned me about (what’s up with that, man?)

In a matter of hours, I go from :f52b1f7205a680513f0c907fd7f4a675

to being:

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 where everything is not awesome.

The only trigger I have identified linked to my mood swings are my experiments.

When my experiments succeed, I’m on top of the world and when they fail it feels like my experiment hit the back of my knees and I land on the floor dumbfounded.

Could it be that I care a little too much? Possibly. Is it the weekly progress reports that makes everyone feel the need to produce usable data all the time? Again, it’s a possibility.

However, I know that carrying around those lingering responsibilities around all the time doesn’t do me any good.

And so, my weekends are spent:

  • Waking up at 9
  • Going to the gym
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Doing all the laundry
  • Grooming the cats
  • Watching Netflix
  • and doing a little baking.

And so I can have a productive week at work knowing my apartment is in the state I want it to be when I return home, dog-tired, either happy with the day or saddened by my experiment.

So that’s how I spend my weekends and I’m not ashamed by it.

I hope you guys enjoy your weekend whatever that may entail. 🙂

Catch cha on the flip side.

-Sabrina

p.s. Another mood swing trigger is when I check my March Madness bracket. So far I lost the entire East bracket, but my West bracket is still enact. GO ZAGS!