Monday, May 25, 2009

Why I feel so . . . disheveled and disarrayed.

I know I haven't been writing much lately, since I always seem to have my hands full with the menial busywork that has become my life. Of course, naturally, France is still beautiful and the sea is still . . . well a big sea, but as it turns out living with a group of my colleagues isn't exactly like living at home. In my own house, my subtle disarray is made up of contained, tumbled book and folder piles. However, here, nothing is contained. I spend my days out at sea in the field and in the lab, and at night I spend them trying to tame the wild mess that has become our once quaint villa. It is unbelievably nerve-wracking.

Well, anyways, I am uploading my photographs now and will get around to posting them later. For now, I need to sleep. I won't have any work, but paperwork to do tomorrow, because some of our equipment isn't working in the field and their going to spend most of the day recalibrating and configuring it. I opted to not help out, which was probably selfish and spiteful of me, but who cares?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My new home for the next six weeks: The French coast.

I feel like I haven't slept in nearly three days . . . which is probably due to the fact that I haven't slept in nearly three days, with exception for those variable 30 minute to a hour power naps that I've been surviving off of. The last I wrote it was the beginning of finals week, nearing the end of the semester. Now the semester is over, I've packed up life and gear needed for my six week stay on the coast of France in Villefranche-sur-Mer. After finally arriving, spending most of the day moving into the small coastal villa my colleagues and I are renting for the summer, I feel completely drained. The house is quaint, too small for the eight people that are now living in it, but homey. I'll post pictures as soon as possible. Since I still haven't bothered to unpack most of my luggage, my camera is still lost somewhere in the middle of one of my suitcases.

Tomorrow we'll get to work, survey the site, compile materials, etc. Our study site is quite few miles away, offshore, so it will be quite a ride out on the boat to get there. Anyways, France is lovely, as usual. My French is still quite rough (even after all of those vigorous lessons), but nonetheless I'm the best speaker so I have to translate for my coworkers quite a bit, which is going to become a hassle. For now, I'm going to put on a pot a tea, and settle in for a nice long nap . . . the dark circles settling under my eyes are most unbecoming.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Floods, Finals, France: My past, present, and future (despite the unbearable cheesy-ness of that line).

I have been unabashedly busy since my last post a week or so ago. I realized only Wednesday last week that it was the last week of classes, which threw me into a tizzy to finish grading all the backlog of papers I had yet to grade. Then I realized that my entire schedule for the next week (this week) was going to be all out of whack due to final examinations. Thankfully, I'll be down with proctoring and etc. by Wednesday, so I can devote my time to more pressing matters, because despite my fervent planning and scheduling, I lapsed and forgot that in 6 days I'll be on a plane flying over the ocean and staying there for 8 weeks. Yeah, I'm feeling a little stressed out. 

Thankfully, however, the rain has stopped. For the entire week, last week, my days were hindered by the intermittent downpours of spring rain, causing both the front and back lawn to flood (my greenhouse had at least 12 inches of water flooded in the bottom of it). Then afterwards, when the sun would deceivingly poke out from behind the clouds, the temperature would spike to above 80 degrees and the air would become thick with  muggy humidity and buzzing bugs. 

Well, anyways, I have to go into the lab tonight, again. I have to start shutting everything down, for the most part, during my leave over the summer holiday. I would rather that I not get stuck Thursday or Friday night dealing with it, because that would most undoubtedly ruin my week.