Sprint to the Finish.

I’m a geek!

Classmate Catherine and the lizard!

I seem to be saying these words quite a bit recently… and with pride. In high school, I remember being a little embarrassed when I got really excited about playing with flatworms or dissecting a cat. At UPS, I’m one of many geeks, so when I’m excited about the geeky things I’m learning about, I’m surrounded by 15 other Bio geeks who are just as excited as I am. For example, our Ornithology class was on (ANOTHER!!) field trip birding at Point Defiance Park; I spotted a lizard basking in the sun, and our class passed him around and checked out the blue stripes on his belly.

My geekyness will be useful this summer as a field assistant at the University of Wyoming! I finally have a job! I’ll be working on multiple grad student’s projects over the course of the summer, and traveling to Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, and Alaska to different field sites to work on research ranging from horny toads to plant surveys. I’m so excited! I was worried that I would have a difficult time finding a position that allowed me to be outside AND exercise brain cells, but this one seems up to the challenge.

My housemates and I, happy that we survived our presentations.

On the subject of being a geek, I just presented my senior thesis! The Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society holds a symposium each year, where students present research they have been performing. It’s exciting to hear about the different projects that are going on within our University, but also the research that students do while they’re abroad. The week before the Symposium was a bit stressful with last minute preparations, and resulted in a severe case of the butterflies. Now, I’m in the process of writing my thesis paper. It’s really bittersweet to be finishing up with my ice worm research. I’ve invested so much time that it’s hard to let go!

All of my hard work at the Symposium was rewarded by a fun weekend with UPS Crew Alums! It was a pleasant surprise to see some alums show up to the Symposium. This past weekend was our alumni dual regatta, Meyer-Lamberth, against PLU. My house was packed with girls that I’ve rowed with in the past three years. It was so good to see and catch up with all of my teammates again.

The crew season is almost over, which is unbelievable. We only have two regattas left unless we get a bid to nationals! Our next regatta is the conference championships, and we get to travel down to Oregon for the race. The following weekend we’re in California for a much larger race, WIRA. Traveling to WIRA means 13 hours on a charter bus with the team. We’ve had a ton of parents come to support us at our races–I love meeting my friend’s parents for the first time or catching up with the regular spectators.

During the crew season, each week is devoted to a different part of the rowing stroke or part of the race. Right now we’re working on our sprint. The sprint is hard, painful, and requires a lot of guts. It seems that’s what everyone at school is working on too: the sprint to the finish. We’re all elbow deep in ten assignments at once along with our various extracurricular activities. But the sprint is also the most rewarding part of the race. After the sprint you are able to look back at how far you’ve come and appreciate what it took to get there.

Mt. Hood made an appearance for our NCRC Invites race at Lake Vancouver, WA.

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