October In Review

October was another massive one, I can’t believe this year is coming to a close so soon.

This month, I properly started my lectures after a bit of timetable confusion. Normally, I only have two face to face lectures a week, but we’re expected to do a lot of work outside of class, especially in the second term once our dissertation projects get moving. We were also expected to attend a statistics and programming workshop that was during the third week of October from 9AM to 5PM Monday through Friday. Phew!

Another big academic milestone is that I sorted my dissertation topic. I’ve talked about the process in this post but long story short, my dissertation project will be (drumroll please)… fisheries and conservation! I’m still working out my exact question, but I’m excited to work with my supervisor Bonnie, my labmate Ellen who will be doing a similar project and the I.F.C.A. (Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) over the next year.

I’ve also been getting involved in some university extracurriculars. I was the only one who ran for Student Representative in my “school” (Master’s biology students) so the position is mine! As a Rep, I represent my schools’ interests and voice any concerns students may have about their academic experience up the line. I am also involved in a university society called Rewilding Sussex. Last month, my course took a field trip to Knepp, a conservation land, and we want to bring their conservation techniques to the university and engage students in the effort. The society is still in its early stages, but I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish this year!

In addition to lectures, workshops, societies and dissertation interviews, I attended a scuba class (to get my open water certification for an upcoming university field trip) for four long days. I talked about it more here.

Speaking of field trips, I’ve confirmed and booked my place on a marine field course (hence the scuba certification) to Durban and Cape Town, South Africa for two weeks in April! I’m excited to get more information and choose my project next term.

On a related note, I booked a trip to Egypt over Christmas! I will be flying into Hurghada and taking a daytrip to see the pyramids before a LiveAboard trip. I have never heard of those before my scuba class, but it’s where you live aboard a scuba diving vessel and travel around (in this case the northern Red Sea) to many different scuba sites. I’m so excited!

Now, back to the real world… I got a job! I clean offices, seminar rooms, computer labs and common areas in academic buidlings on campus form 4AM to 8AM every weekday. The hours are undesirable, but it’s steady money.

I went to two gigs this month: Arcane Roots and Chon both in Brighton with my roommate Diego. Arcane Roots was especially amazing, Diego said it was one of his favorite gigs of all time. They played songs from their new album (Melancholia Hymns, check it out) as well as some of my favorite songs. It got rough and sweaty but we were quickly cooled off by the breeze coming from the sea once we stepped outside again. Chon was awesome as well. Luckily, we were close to the front so we could admire the impressive guitar playing.

Finally, today, I went on a somewhat private tour at the Natural History Museum with my coursemates. We were taken behind the scenes to see the Pleistocene fossil mammal collection. While a lot of artifacts in the museums are castes, we got to see specimens that are over 10,000 years old up close! Seeing such amazingly huge bones up close made it feel more genuine rather than staring at them from behind a glass surrounded by tourists. My favorite parts were seeing actual specimens from Darwin’s voyages, learning about cannibalism right here in the U.K. and how quiet it was compared to the museum. Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to publish pictures we’ve taken as some of the artifacts are still under active research, but here’s my visitor tag!

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Other than that, this month I’ve been enjoying the lovely weather we’ve been having in Brighton, going out with my coursemates and having quiet nights in with my roommates.

I feel like I’ve finally got a good foothold on life in Brighton again and I’m more excited to be here than ever!

What I’m watching: Spy, Is God Green?, We Are The Millers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (season 2-3)

What I’m listening to: Meloncolia Hyms by Arcane Roots, Tapestry by Carole King, Signals by Mallory Knox, Nothing But Thieves by Nothing But Thieves, The Canyon by The Used

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