This is the beginning of the end of my graduate work. My defense date is set (Friday the 13th of November...spooky!), my advisor has a complete draft of my dissertation, and I have started to apply for jobs/interview. While this has been something I have been preparing for…for years…and working towards my whole life, it has yet to sink in fully. Someone the other day said, “Next time I’ll see you, you’ll be a doctor!” This blew my mind. I don’t know how I will feel afterwards. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, actually. You spend almost every waking moment, for approximately five years, thinking about one project… when it is done, how do you feel? All of the people who I have spoken to said it is the best feeling in the world. While I may be nervous about the coming changes, I am beyond excited and I am ready to graduate. Senioritis finally hit.
I just got back from my third, and final, scientific outreach training ‘bootcamp’ at Phipps Conservatory. My favorite part of this event is the fact I get to meet scientists from all over the USA. These folks study plants and conservation on an international level, and the work that they do is interdisciplinary and so important. Not only that, but they are folks you would love to get a margarita with! What a great group of passionate, kindhearted, and smart individuals. We had a great time learning different ways to engage the public. I’m currently working on a short movie about ginseng, so get ready for that in the near future. One of my favorite things about 'bootcamp' was when we got to wander around the conservatory, before it was open to the public, to take pictures. That was just lovely, and some of my photos are highlighted in the gallery.