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Archive for April, 2010

And the winner is…

It’s been a really difficult process to decide where to get my master’s.  I’ve really been torn between the two schools, since each have pros and cons.  Since I wrote that list, some of the cons for one of the schools were alleviated.  I spoke with additional faculty and had some additional contact with the Assistant Director of the program (he’d been very formal on first contact, but has since relaxed quite a bit!).   So, this morning I officially accepted an offer to join the Master of Energy and Environmental Policy  program at the University of Delaware (formerly known as Univ D)!

While I would love to be near my parents and the people at Univ R were really open and welcoming, the bottom line is that I think the MEEP program (ok, the acronym is just a little twee, but I didn’t name it) at U Del is a better fit for me.  It has a good reputation with people working in the field, the faculty have good networks and are committed to securing research projects of interest to the students.  They have a very active research program and students have the opportunity to work on several of them during their time in the program.  The additional faculty I spoke with were really enthusiastic and friendly (and very casual, which I like).  Plus, it lets me stay in the general Philly area.

So, the big decision is done!  Onward…

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I just had the best morning!  It was my second shift at the wildlife rehab clinic and I fed about thousand baby squirrels.  Okay, so it was only about 35, but it seemed like 1000.  They’re just so damn cute.  A new little female came in that someone had been trying to raise on their own for a few days.  She was remarkably healthy and loved, loved, loved her first taste of formula.

Some of them are adolescents now and weaning themselves from being syringe-fed.   There were a few that I swear rolled their little black eyes at me when I tried to feed them.  “Seriously, lady, do I like look a baby or something?”  Well, yes.  Yes, you do.  But since you ate your Cheerios, veggies and rodent chow, I’ll give you a pass on being fed like a baby.

So, you want to try something fun and challenging?  Try transferring 4 teenage squirrels from one cage to another without any of them escaping or ending up in your hair.  I managed to thwart the escape attempts, but at least two did spend some time in my hair.  Too funny.

I also helped the rehabber set the broken leg of a chukar partridge and gavage an injured mallard duck and a herring gull.  All new stuff for me!   But apparently, I made the biggest impression on the staff by showing them how to remove permanent marker from a dry-erase board.  It was the talk of the clinic.  So, I guess all those years spent in corporate conference rooms weren’t wasted!

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Well, I’ve decided that I definitely do want to go to grad school full time this autumn.  A lot of you are probably saying “I knew it!” but it really hadn’t been clear to me until recently.  Getting accepted at both places where I applied lifted me up in a way that the thought of going directly into a job in the field didn’t.   I’m a big believer in the gut reaction these days.  Getting ridiculously excited about hearing that I got in (I mean, I actually did a little jump up and down thing) was a huge clue.

Even though it means selling my house and moving, it feels very right to me.  I really like my house and where I live, but Ive been in this area for almost 22 years and that’s long enough.  My house is too big for one person, anyway and I’ve been feeling the weight of it and too much stuff lately.  Time to reduce the old carbon footprint.

Another factor is that I’ve never really gotten to have much of a full time university experience.  I got my Associate’s degree full time, but my B.S. and first M.S. were done while working full time.  It’s a very different thing, to split your brain into work and school segments.  I enjoyed it a lot, but I’ve always felt a little like I missed out on something.  No, I don’t mean sororities and football games.  Although I did miss out on those first time around, I didn’t miss them, if you know what I mean.   I mean the total immersion in academic thought.  The opportunity to Think Deep Thoughts.  I don’t know if I really have Deep Thoughts, but I want the chance to find out.

Now, on to deciding where…

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