I think I figured out a name for my first paragraphs of every post. POOP! "Personal Or Other Paragraph"...I mainly just want to tell people that I finished my weekly POOP and watch the concerned look on their faces. Bonus, I get to explain to them that I have a blog and that they need to check out my website to read it. For this weekʻs POOP: This past Wednesday was momʻs birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! We didnʻt do much the day of. Dayton (my son) and I made her a card, Dayton sang her happy birthday, I cooked some breaky, went to work, then booked it back home to make her dinner. We are planning a family dinner get together, but my older brother is busy doing magic tricks at Hogwarts and watching fireworks with Mickey, so weʻre waiting for him to get back. On the weekend, I took mom to the Stylistics Concert. It was actually better than I thought it was gonna be. I actually enjoyed the first 30 minutes of the concert...but, then it started to get to me. Old people have such "unique" smells! From super flowery perfumes to tiger balm to kim chee farts to unbrushed teeth...ugh, Iʻm surprised I made it through the whole show without passing out!
Anyway, back to work life stuff...Laʻa had his first day! Geez, this boy is tall! I knew him from this program that I co-instructed this past summer, but I didnʻt realize (or maybe just didnʻt remember) how tall he was! I kinda feel bad that he has to sit at such a small desk with a small chair. Still awaiting the lab, so we had him do some inventory. The first day, we inventoried the samples in the -80 freezer. We were long done with inventory when we started to hear an alarm going off. I stuck my head out from under my super sick bose headphones (yes, the alarm was that loud) and poked my head out of the office. I couldnʻt tell where the alarm was coming from, but it didnʻt seem like it was the building alarm, so I just sat back down. The alarm continued for a couple more minutes when an irritated looking post-doc (at least I think she was a post-doc) knocked on my office door. I smiled, she angry faced, I question faced, and then she said, "your freezer is freaking out, fix it", and make her soul-sucking exit. Did I mention how great I am at making friends? I fixed it in less than four seconds with a push of a button. Turns out the freezer has an alarm that sounds if the temperature goes above -60...this was an awesome way to find out!
Besides that incident, the only exciting work stuff is my continuous upgrade to my office space (and the random pirate ship that enters the harbor occasionally). Not sure if I already mentioned this, but I will eventually have to share this space with our Labʻs new post-doc, who is flying in towards the end of the month. I probably shouldʻve waited for her to get here before decorating our office, but sitting in a plain office for over a month wouldʻve made me want to jump out of the window (and into the beautiful turquoise ocean below). I did bring in a toaster, kettle, some tea, and a printer, which I guess I could take home, but who would really want that, right? I also left her with the biggest desk and that whole side of the office is untouched, so Iʻm hoping sheʻll be cool with my stuff. Oh, I also brought in our new mascots! Theyʻre little shrimps called ʻōpaeʻula, which is totally relevant since some of our sample sites have ʻōpaeʻula living in them. We only have three and I havenʻt thought of names for them, yet, but Iʻll update you once we do.
As for the other aspect of my job, the Fridays one, we had our first monthly meeting on Friday. It was a pretty awesome one. Introduced myself to a bunch of familiar faces, and after the logistical junk, we did some Hawaiian culture based activities. We grounded and focused ourselves with a discussion about piko, then we learned a new chant (one that is now my new favorite), and had a very interesting discussion about the many meanings of Ea. All super fun things! With that said, these monthly meetings are marketed as professional development meetings, but the professional development was very different from what Iʻm used to. I did enjoy it very much, but did realize that the development is very tailored to a cultural perspective. Donʻt get me wrong, I think itʻs great and awesome and more things should be done that is tailored to cultural perspectives, especially in Hawaiʻi. I honestly feel that itʻs very important to understand things from as many different perspectives as possible, but a lot of professional settings are pretty far behind in that aspect. I do feel that a cultural understanding of place is important when conducting research in a culturally driven area, like Hawaiʻi, but I donʻt think it should be the only focus when we are teaching young, local students to become professional, local scientists. I chose this position and Iʻd like to think I was accepted for it because I do have a unique outlook on being a cultural, local scientist. I wasnʻt asked for my input when the meeting was planned and Iʻm assuming thatʻs due to the fact that I just started this position last week, but Iʻm really hoping the next meeting will have more than just the cultural aspect of professional development. Heck, maybe Iʻll just throw a suggestion that way and see where it falls...
Our ʻōpaeʻula mascots...the third one is hiding under the cowrie