It's the last week of the quarter, which always makes for a busy time. On top of that, the whole city of Eugene has had a buzz about it this week, because Oregon just won the Pac-10 and is poised to go deep into the NCAA tourney. Even for someone such as yours truly who doesn't really care for basketball it's an exciting time to be a Duck. Combine that with the idyllic weather we've been having, and it's been a week that's been anything but conducive to working. Of course, I've not had any time for idling. Here's a few of the things that have been keeping me busy:
-Continuing my jihad against the ants. The talcum powder trick worked to break up the trail that kept forming across my kitchen, but to actually reduce numbers I've had to resort to chemical weapons in the form of ant traps full of arsenic. They're pretty insidious devices that fool the ants into bringing back the poison to feed the rest of the colony. They seem to be working spectacularly well, and I feel almost bad for the poor things, but I'm not about to cut and run.
-Getting things in order for the summer. In the past week I've applied for a summer grant from the university (though I'm not holding out much hope for it) and for a class in analytical paleobiology down in Santa Barbara this summer. I should hear about both sometime next month.
-Vetting candidates for the department's next professor of paleontology. I seem to have timed my arrival here well, since in the next few months we'll have hired a new paleontologist (probably of the vertebrate variety). Given that we're still in the interview process, it's probably best that I don't elaborate on things too much, but the powers that be in the department actually seem to be interested in my opinions on the candidates, which is nice.
-Having an argument on the philosophy of science with some of the students in my Community Ecology class. More on this later, since I think this particular topic deserves a little more detail than I'm willing to go into now.
-Setting up my brand new replacement cell phone. It's got a camera in it and everything (not that I care that much about whether my phone has a camera or not, but I enjoy the novelty of it all). Give me a call so you can see how nice and clear the reception is!
-Reading up on the future of paleontology. Apparently it's robots.
-Finishing up class work. Nothing particularly exciting about this, but it's what I've devoted the bulk of this previous week to, so this list really wouldn't be complete without it. Next week being Finals Week, it's not going to be getting any less hectic, either...