Thursday, January 7, 2010

So this is the new year...

Due to holiday craziness and the start of a new course, I've been behind on posting. However, in the upcoming months, I will be defending my proposal and preparing to start my dissertation research, so I'll probably be writing about that in the near future. As I work on course prep for my current course (World Prehistory), I'm also going to try to post some material related to that(hopefully that might help me with preparing my lectures!).

Anyway, Karina at Ruminations from an Aspiring Ecologist published a brief assessment of her year in review, and I was inspired to the same. Until I thought about it, I hadn't realized how much I had actually accomplished in 2009. So despite feeling like I've been a slacker for most of the year (well, since taking my comps in May), I've actually done quite a lot!

Here's my 2009 year in review:

1) Finished all my coursework!
2) Took and passed candidacy exams!
3) Had a paper on Tool Use in Spider Monkeys published in Primates!
4) Applied for 9 grants (though I was rejected from quite a few)
5) Received $22,000 in grant funding ($20,000 from Wenner-Gren, $2,000 from OSU's Alumni Grant.
6) Met the greatest guy ever :)
7) Took in a foster dog and two new kitties, as well as a little corn snake.
8) Attended 4 weddings that were a great chance to reunite and catch up with old friends.
9) Presented a poster and podium presentation at AAPA 2009.
10) Submit and receive acceptance for a poster presentation for AAPA 2010.
11) Taught 4 of my own sections of Intro to Physical Anth (ie, one per quarter, all year) with course sizes ranging from 18-70.
12) Visit two new zoos that have spider monkeys :)
13) Start this blog :)

So that's the some of the highlights of 2009. Not bad for a year that had less traveling than normal, no fieldwork, and only one conference (in the past couple years, I've been going to quite a lot of conferences). 2010 should be interesting, as I am preparing to leave for the field in May! It's pretty exciting, but also pretty scary, as I'm planning on being there for 14-15 months, and my entire dissertation depends on getting the data I need (note to spider monkeys--please cooperate with me!).

Finally, I just wanted to share this opinion piece from the NY times about The Happiest People, which Nicholas Kristof asserts are the Costa Ricans! It made me happy to think that I will be spending 15 months of my life in a happy place (albeit, a happy place where I will have limited electricity, interent access only every few months, and will be separated from my boyfriend for most of the time). Kristof attributes the happiness of Costa Rica to the lack of military, and emphasis on education and environment. That might be some of it, but I'd also argue that part of that happiness stems from the fact that there are beautiful wild spider monkeys there (as well as so many other beautiful animals, plants, and ecosystems)!


  1. Sounds like you had quite a year! You did accomplish a lot. I look forward to reading about how things go in 2010, especially your field work! Do you think you'll do email posts from the field when you are online every couple of months?

  2. Yeah, I'm definitely going to try to keep a field journal on my computer and post those online when I can get to an internet cafe--it's one of the major reasons I started this blog!

    I still have some old journal entries on my old laptop that have some fun field stories that I wanted to post at some time... but my old laptop is so slow, I have to have some patience to look for that stuff...