It has been a very busy week; it’s last week of Coastal Processes, and a lot of people left on Friday in lieu of taking the last week of classes. The fact that I’m going to be on a plane headed home in a week a little brain boggling (still quite bad at the linear progression of time).
Coastal Processes has been a really fun class though, and I’ll be sad to see it go. We spent all of Wednesday on a nearby beach to describe some transects and get a feel for how the beach was moving. It had snowed the previous night, just a little dusting, but as soon as we all got out of the cars, everybody wound up in a knock-down drag-out snowball fight. It was funny how much better the kids from northern climes were at packing snowballs than everybody else. Once we got all that out of our systems and were standing around grinning and snow covered, we got down to the data collection (it’s always meticulous descriptions. That’s all your data ever is).
My fingertips nearly froze off (brought the light gloves, rather than the heavy gloves, because I though 0°C wasn’t going to be that cold. I forgot about the wind), and one point I put my foot through an iced over puddle (but my feet stayed completely dry, which is why you Always buy waterproof shoes), and I still had a marvelous time. We spent a while talking about how much sandy beaches move (they’re supposed to) and how building directly on top of them is always a bad move, despite everyone wanting to do it.
I spent most of the rest of Wednesday tracing a whole bunch of satellite images of this coastal spit to see whether the beach is on average prograding or retrograding (some silly part of me keeps wanting to make a beach horoscope, like: The beach is in retrograde, which means now is a bad time for romance or purchasing coastal real estate. You will meet a tall dark stranger and be late for an important meeting. Avoid lettuce and confide in your friends. but I feel like this only really funny to about 3 people). After tracing 9 different coastlines (oof the 1980s had Large pixels which makes everything more difficult), my group then went a little crazy making at least half a dozen different graphs, trying to draw conclusions for our one page report. I waved the professor over at one point and gestured at the three graphs we were bickering between, and he just looked at us and said, “This is a one page report. I didn’t expect you to make any graphs.” oops. We only ended up turning in three though, which I think shows a lot of restraint on our part, given how much fun I had making brightly colored confetti looking scatter plots (whatever trends there are are neither very obvious nor very linear, which makes things fun).
We also had to write a 2500ish word project analyzing a coastal system of our choice, which I was having a hard time starting, and then once I started, a difficult time working on for any length of time. Which made me nervous (this really doesn’t usually happen to me) until I started counting on my fingers and realized that nearly every class so far has had a final essay, somewhere in the ballpark of 2-3000words long, with a minimum of 10 academic sources per. Each class is two weeks long, and I generally discard about half the papers I read as not relevant by the time the project ends, which means I’ve been reading about 20 papers and writing 2000 words every two weeks for (checks watch) 15 weeks (the one class where we didn’t write a final paper, we read an entire book, went to a conference, and wrote a 1000 word reflection instead). No wonder the brain is getting a little soup-like. also makes me feel better about not reading as much for pleasure as I usually do; it’s essentially been midterms all semester.
I’m glad the next class is only a week long, and is also Maritime Anthropology. I don’t think it’ll be that difficult, and it looks interesting, and the final essay is only 500-800 words according the syllabus. That’s manageable. In the meantime, I’ve been walking around as the sun sets and the moon rises in the afternoon, and the full moon has been gorgeous.
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