Ok, the alliteration in the title kind of sucks, but I couldn't think of a significantly better title.
The biggest news since I posted last is that we had our Fulbright mid-year report event. We got to meet all the US bound Kiwis and present about our research. This was mostly a lot of fun but also kind of an anxiety inducing kick in the pants. I realized I'm half done with my Fulbright and I feel like I've accomplished very little. I did not anticipate it would take me almost 2 months just to figure out what I was staring at under the microscope. This was amplified by the fact that I am now filling out veterinary school/ PhD apps and realized that I do not have any publications to my name. I guess I'll just have to get used to the constant nagging of publications. I am working on that toepad stuff with Luke; I'm excited to get some of my research out there.
It also made me want to get out and see more of the country. Julie and I tentatively have plans to go to the South Island. I also need to see more of the North Island. I did get out to Cape Palliser again, though, and saw lots of seals a couple weeks ago. It was gorgeous.
But as I said, the Fulbright event was mostly a ton of fun. The Kiwis headed to America are brilliant, hilarious and really kind. And exceedingly patient. They had to sit through 15 minute presentations by each of the Americans. I was told I managed to make my presentation quite funny; plus, everyone loves tuatara. It might also have helped that I "enhanced" all of my photos in MS paint (scarves on tuatara, angry faces on blood cell parasites, etc.) Last Wednesday there was a big ceremony at Parliament where all the Fulbrighters were presented with certificates by the NZ Minister of Science and Technology, pins by the US Ambassador to NZ (see pic of me and Ambassador Huebner -- with Mike, another US Fulbright peeking through) and a lei by the head of the Fulbright NZ board. The Fulbright woman gave me a lei that matched my outfit. I was pretty psyched. The graduate students (Americans and Kiwis) then went out to dinner and out for dancing and drinks. I'm sure some of you have seen my facebook pictures documenting the event. I'm just sad that the Kiwis aren't going to be around much longer to hang out with us. If anyone's still in the Cambridge area, I can introduce you to two awesome kids who'll be at Harvard next year.
On a completely different note, it's amazing I finished my presentation in 15 minutes since I had to stop to cough several times. I've had this cough for about 2.5 weeks now. I finally went to the doctor today (who turned out to be the husband of one of the Fulbright senior scholar people!). He told me I had a virus and the cough'll go away in 1-2 weeks but he also gave me an inhaler to help me stop coughing. My fate as the athletically inept, dweeby, weakling nerd is sealed.
Being sick sucks but it has had its funny moments. Two weeks ago I was woken up by a stomach ache and the sound of my chattering teeth. At 4am I finally decided to call my parents. (The benefits of being 5 hours "behind" the west coast.) My dad assured me that I was probably running a fever but before I took some tylenol I should take my temperature. 96 degrees F. Thank you, Wellington. I bought an electric blanket the next day.
- I now have a spiffy certificate to hang on my wall, along with pins and a lei.
- I am an expert with microsoft paint. If you think you'd look better in a picture with a drawn on scarf or possibly a third eye, I'm your gal.
- The Kiwis headed to the US are the best. Now if they would only stay in their country instead of fleeing to mine...
- I'm starting to understand the meaning of "publish or perish."
- Being sick sucks. Especially when it forces you to realize the persona you thought you ditched after 5th grade PE.