6 May 2013

End of semester update

Posted by Jessica Ball

…and I finally, finally have a chance to breathe.

It’s been a really busy couple of months for me – not just because I was teaching a lecture class for the first time, but because I was also getting ready for my technical thesis defense. At UB, your technical defense is a combination of running through everything you’ve done research-wise and a plan of attack for finishing up your thesis. In my case, it meant a lot of discussing some pretty complicated numerical modeling (and I’m no mathematician) along with figuring out how quickly I can put together multiple papers with an advisor who won’t be here for a good chunk of the time between now and my final defense. It’s a daunting prospect, but all I can think about at the moment is how relieved I am that I can finally stop doing┬áthe modeling and actually start writing about it. And now I have my final defense nailed down to a month, so I know the end is in sight!

Wow, I can’t believe I made it this far.

Teaching turned out to be a great experience, and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice (and understanding) my students turned out to be. I never had any problems with them accepting the climate change theme (or at least, none that made noise about it), which kind of made that post I wrote a while back slightly moot. I’m very happy to have had the experience of teaching an intro course, however, because if it takes me a while to line up a postdoc after I graduate, I’m likely to begin looking for teaching positions to fill the time.

In the meantime, though, I get to settle down for a summer of modeling analysis and paper writing. Buffalo is actually not a bad place at all to be doing this – the weather is great during the summer, there are lots of free outdoor events to go to AND there are lovely Canadian beaches not an hour away. And I can do it all without the stress of a looming defense hanging over my head…at least until August, when I’m sure the nerves will kick in again.

Okay, so I won't be lazing about on a black sand beach in Hawaii. But it will be nice not to have to juggle two jobs at once!

The upshot of all this is that I hope to get back into the groove of posting more often – I certainly have enough backlogged draft posts to keep me busy! And I also plan to get out of the office and out in the field (or at least go on some hikes) much more often this summer. I’m definitely looking forward to that!