Since its been going on for a while now I guess I should tell y’all about my beloved internship. Some of you may know that I am an intern at the School of Biological, Ecological and Environmental Sciences (BEES for short :D ) in the Plant Sciences and I absolutely love it here! I wasn’t originally going to apply for the internship but then my friend Rosie decided to apply for one at the library and I thought, why not?! I’m a terror to myself and everyone I know when I am not occupied (“PLLLLLAAAAAAAAY WIIIIIIIIITH MMMMMEEEEEEEE” – me to all of my friends when I am bored, I get it from my mother ;) ) so I thought that this would be a great use for my time. After I first applied, in January, I heard back from my current super Tara (I know, our names rhyme, it’s real cute). She gave me a tour around the place and asked if I would be interested in interning.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I was most likely not top pick for this internship since I am a Psychology and Environmental Studies major who did not know the difference between a cotyledon from a chlorophyll meter. While I do have research experience on my resume it is mainly through GIS, psychology and a little bit of water testing in Idaho and the raging Chester River! Be that as it may I jumped at the chance to help out! So with a resounding yes I agreed to work with Tara on her project.
Tara herself is a UCC grad and a Cork resident currently working on her PhD. Most of her work, and by extension mine, has to do with testing vermicompost. For those not inclined to check out the linked wikipedia article its basically composting with worms! This stuff is AWESOME and really helps a plant to fight off the nasties like nutrient pollution and to grow quite fantastically!
I’ve been working with Tara since the end of February and since then I have learned a tonne! While I can be a bit clumsy at times and probably a bit to eager to please I have found that potting 150 plants can be quite relaxing. There is nothing quite like taking dry weights and singing to the radio with your super in a warm green house while the Irish rain pours down outside. Since starting I have potted and watered more plants then I can imagine, I’ve taken leaf weights and chlorophyll counts; we’ve worked with crazy expensive and cool looking science machinery and I have fixed problems with a bit of masking tape. Besides all of the research techniques I have learned I have also had fun hanging out with the rest of the post-grads.
Many people know that I can be quite ridiculously nervous and unsure in normal situations like meeting the rest of the people in the department but I have been met with nothing but the utmost kindness from everyone I’ve met. The rest of the post grads have become really cool and nerdy friends. They invited me out to pubs and to dinner, we’ve watched horse races together (and no I didn’t participate in the betting even if it was only 2 euro) and I’ve been on the winning side of an impromptu trivia night! Other professors and researchers always ask me how I’m doing and how life is going in Balt-ti-moor (as this is the one city in Maryland seemingly everyone knows about).
I’ve had, and to some extent am still having, a hard time meeting people to hang out with here in Ireland; I have my friends from WAC and a couple of close friends I have met through class, trips and clubs but it seems that the students work on a different level than me. Many of them are here in huge groups from their colleges and are eager to throw their money around like it ain’t no thang. For someone trying to live a bit more frugally it made finding people to chill with a bit harder. But I think it may also be that I needed to find people who can spend a half an hour creating an experiment to see if they can cook chicken in an autoclave. While I don’t hang out with these people outside of work besides the occasional dinner/drink its still nice to know that on a bad day I have a couple of people and plants willing to hang out with me and my corny jokes.
So this has turned into quite the blog! Bit about me, bit about my internship, bit about life. Hope y’all enjoyed it! As a treat I’ll give you some pictures of my BABIES! Now I know they’re a bit small but keep in mind they are a short species… and I was poisoning most of them for my experiment!