Friday, June 26, 2015

as the kitty turns...

over and lays his paws on my laptop... it is hard when to type when I have a very enthusiastic "helper" who does not understand that cat paws also can use the touch-screen...sigh.

Anyway...Life has been going on and on. 

I was given the opportunity to teach this summer, one class of BIO 112 (General Biology II - for majors).   It has been fun.  The class started with five students and is down to four.  We went out on a field trip on Wednesday to collect samples from the sound-side of one of the barrier islands down here.  I love the barrier islands and think they are really neat how they shift and change...I will not get on my soapbox about how we should not be building on them, etc.  Anyway - there were so many people out there - I usually go at non-peak times, like, March and October/November and the number of people just sunbathing and hanging out at the water was a bit of a surprise. 

All went better than I had hoped and we got so see some cool blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) and some neat fish - including a small (~1.5 inch) puffer fish (Northern puffer, Sphoeroides maculatus), a pampano (I think it is Trachinotus carolinus, but it could be an African pampano)...and some pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides).  I guess the puffers from around here are not nearly as toxic with tetrodotoxin as those around Japan.

As I said, we also caught some blue crabs of my favorite species for identification (easy-peasy to ID).  We found a male that someone had ripped off his claws and many of his walking legs and (I sure hope he survived) and then later we caught a big female with claws intact.  These guys are neat because they are sexually dimorphic, so we could tell that one was male and the other female.  

   Image from

One of my students gave up her hat to catch her - she didn't let go of the hat until she was back in the water! I am just glad it wasn't my fingers.  I was pinched by some smaller blue crabs and stuck in the finger by the rostrum of a shrimp (Farfantepenaeus spp.) that we caught...all-in-all, it was a good day.  There are days I can't believe they pay me to do what I do.  So...we brought the puffer, the pompano, and three pinfish back to the aquarium at school.  I am hoping they are still alive on Monday when we go back.  We removed the bully of a mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus, a.k.a. mud minnow) and it is now living at the Aquaculture facility on campus.

I don't think I want to try to take 32 students out on a field trip next time, though...I am not sure what to do because I really think it was a good experience to see the species in the wild and see how we can catch them, etc. Maybe by splitting the class into two groups and taking only16 at a time...with more supervisory people? I will see what I can do.  I don't know if 16 would be manageable, either...we shall see.

So,  I have received more "'thanks but no thanks" from places.  I have also applied to a FT position at the Brunswick CC, where I am working now.  I have high hopes and crossed fingers, but it has only been ~1.5 weeks since they opened the position.  They posted it on Tuesday night, I turned in my application on Wednesday morning. Nothing like jumping on that quickly.  It was hinted at by two higher-ups that the job would be posted soon (before it was) and that I should be on the look-out for it...I was.  I have not heard about interviews, yet, but hope that it will be soon.  The start-date is expected to be on August 10th.  Fingers crossed.

AND! Today the Supreme Court ruled to recognize marriages for all.  I am so happy that we no longer need to spend (literally) thousands of dollars to get the same rights as my siblings have since they got married.  We had to get legal papers that would allow each other to make medical decisions, to be able to visit each other in the hospital, etc.  The same rights that my siblings had when they got married - by spending as little as $80 ($90, if you wanted the certified copy of the certificate, which we did) in the State of NC and going to a JP.  We had to spend the money twice: once in Ohio, and once in NC...if we had been able to get legally married, we would not have had to spend the thousands of dollars the first time... So, if we move, we should not have to spend the thousands again!  We are now legally married in all 50 States, and DC!  I am so happy, I cannot contain myself...This does not mean that I am protected at my job...this is still an "at-will" state and for whatever reason, someone decides that they don't want me to teach, they do not have to renew my contract and they do not have to tell me why (as far as I know)...Scary.

So...time to celebrate and then get back to the fun of doing my job...There are also times I don't think they pay me enough...but that is not as often. :)


the fish girl

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Leland, North Carolina, United States