Friday, May 18, 2007

About Me

I've always been captivated by nature. As a kid I loved to watch bugs and birds and creepy crawlies. I spent a lot of time during my formative years at a near by nature center where I learned about the local natural history. I had excellent science teachers all through school who encouraged my interest in science, particularly biology.

I went to Small Friendly College with the intention of majoring in biology. In fact, I didn't realize until well into my first year of college that there were any other career paths for people interested in nature and environmental issues. Every adult I knew who had similar interests had studied biology, so I didn't really consider any other options. My horizons broadened in college but after much consideration I've still decided to pursue higher education in my deep-rooted passion for biology.

I loved Small Friendly College. It had a great Biology program and I feel well-prepared for graduate school (we'll see how this holds up in a few months). When I graduated a few years ago, I wasn't sure yet what I wanted to do with my degree. I planned to go to graduate school eventually, but I knew I wasn't ready yet. I spent a few years working different jobs, traveling, talking to people I worked with, and generally considering what I want to do with my life. I worked in a non-formal education setting for a few years and seriously thought about being an elementary school teacher. I wanted to be able to have a longer relationship than 1.5 hours with my students. I also thought about teaching at the college level. I am not interested in working at a competitive research university, but I would like to be a professor at a place like Small Friendly College. I like "extra-curricular" options for profs at small liberal arts colleges. In addition to teaching and research, I would like to be involved in community outreach programs with science education and lead foreign study programs. This goal of turning into my Small Friendly College professors isn't hard and fast, but it gives me something to shoot for. So, I will try to make career decisions during grad school with this goal in mind.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The purpose of this blog is to...

allow me to anonymously share my experiences in graduate school. In August 2007 I will begin a Ph.D. program in Ecology at U of Big City. At this point I have no reason to hide my identity but I believe that having an anonymous blog will allow me to be more forthright about my experiences. It's going to be a long road. A Ph.D. in ecology in the U.S. takes an average of 5-7 years. I want to be share my thoughts without them turning up in a Google search for my name.

I plan to blog about the whole experience, from application to receipt of degree. Perhaps some other person thinking about going to grad school in ecology will find this useful (or at least mildly interesting). If you like what you read, please pass the blog along.

Names will be changed to protect the innocent. I couldn't come up with a clever pseodonym that wasn't really dorky (I decided against Cy Intist), so you can just know me as Karina.