September In Review

Like August, September started out in Southern California. The main purpose of the trip was a family reunion on my dad’s side (where everyone was there but my parents, summing up to about 25 people), but we also got to see my mom’s side. It was nice to see (literally) everyone, but all that social interaction drained me.

That following weekend, I went home for the afternoon to see my mom and borrow a car for fieldwork trips. My mom is doing (comparatively) better than when I saw her last month when she was completely out of her head. This time, I got to catch her up with what I’ve been up to since I moved in.

During the first few weeks of the month, I started work again at both my jobs. I jumped right back into the student theater usher job, but had to be retrained at Gammage. Luckily, nothing was new and I wasn’t liable for any mistakes I made while training, but it’s nice to feel useful again. Both places hired quite a few new people, with about 25 new faces at Gammage and a dozen at the school of music. But mind you, not all these people are brand new hires (although at Gammage about 20 people were just hired), just new faces to me as I’ve been away for so long. The play at Gammage this month was Caberet, which was wonderful, but quite dark.

During that same week, I was meant to do overnight fieldwork in northern Arizona. However, about an hour into my drive, the car overheated. Thankfully, after a few hours and several FaceTime calls to my dad, it was fixed and hasn’t had any problems since, but I’m still a bit bummed I missed out on fieldwork.

After working about 30 hours during the Caberet run, I had four exams the following week, all of which I did okay on. My mentoring is coming to an end soon and I’ve really enjoyed it and feel like I was at least some help to my students. They open up to me and pay attention when I talk, I got lucky with such a great group of freshman! Finally, I got into a research lab that studies hummingbird courtship patterns. The teaching assistant for my conservation biology class, Rick, is doing research on how hummingbird color and flight patterns differ between species and how effective these mating displays are. I overlay pictures to include the spectra of both humans vision and bird vision so we can see how the male looks to the female.

The last weekend in September, I went home again to see my family and do fieldwork. This fieldwork was a jackrabbit survey. In two location sites close to the border, about thirty of us swept the area and counted the number of jackrabbits we saw. I didn’t see any, but others did, so I suppose it was a success.

That same night, I drove back up to Phoenix for a Blink-182 concert. They’ve been one of my favorite bands since I was in my early teens and I was so thrilled to finally see them live. My equally enthusiastic coworker, Julie, came with me and we had a great time!

What I am listening to: Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen, Lungs by Florence + the Machine, OK Computer by Radiohead, Death of a Bachelor by Panic! At the Disco

What I am watching: Rick and Morty (seasons 1-2)

What I am reading: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer



  1. Mom
    October 2, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    Love hearing all about you precious Rachel. So proud of you. You are a wonderful young lady. Love you so much!!

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