I survived the Uni field trip! It was a LOT of work, basically from 8:30 in the morning until 9pm at night with specific activities/lectures/field work and then, because we had to write a 2000 word essay by the end of the 5 days, working on that during the evening, until 2:30 or so one of the nights. I really didn't get much sleep and am exhausted this week as a result.
Apart from the crazy amount of work, it was fun. The people in the class were all really nice and some of them were very funny. Our little project went okay, although we got totally different results from another group who was looking at the same thing (nitrate levels in farm dams), so I don't know how accurate they are.
We got our 2000 word essay done and handed in though, so now we just have to write individual essays on the data we collected at the camp. That will not be fun, I haven't done that kind of data analysis since I did my honours project back in 2003! I am going to have to drag out the stats text book I think, or just look up "Stats for Dummies".
Here is a picture of my group. We made a selfie stick out of part of our quadrat, works quite well! Our group was a complete mix of backgrounds, everyone was from a different country. It was good, I learnt a lot about Egypt, China, Indonesia and Malaysia and also a bit about Muslims, which was great, given all the rubbish in the news at the moment. One thing I learnt, which myself and the Chinese guy (neither of us are in the least bit religious) thought was crazy, was that they are supposed to pray 5 times a day. 5! Such a time commitment, they deserve props just for that I think.
The camp was at the Melbourne Uni agricultural college, which was quite cool. I spoke with one of the farm hands at lunch and he said that they used to have hundreds of students all the time but now they barely get anyone through at all, so lots of things are a bit run down. There are a lot of facilities up there though, it would be great to work out of. We even got our own little rooms which was cool, I was dreading having to be in a dorm. The rooms had desks too, which is lucky, given the amount of work we had to do.
I'm going to do a separate post about my current weight issues, but the food up there really wasn't diet friendly at all. Breakfast was cereal, toast, yogurt and fruit. Lunch was a bread roll, cake, a biscuit and fruit. Dinner was a choice of something like roast beef, chicken kiev or fried fish and then dessert. We were starving though so we ate it all.
It was a good experience all up. The highlight was a guest lecture from someone who worked at the local Catchment Management Authority, it really made me want to work in the environmental field. I really wish I hadn't got myself stuck in my current job rut and had tried harder to get a relevant job after I finished honours, but realistically that was a horrible time in my life, so I don't think it would have happened much differently. Honestly, if my current job was just in Department of Environment or something like that instead of Dep of Education, it would be bloody perfect.
So anyway, I just have this individual essay due at the end of October and then I'm done with Uni again til March, woot! The subject next year should be my final subject for the course too I think, exciting, although I have to get the right average to actually get Masters, otherwise I think I just get a Graduate Diploma or something like that. Anyway, I guess I should spend less time on the internet and more time reading "Stats for Dummies".