>The Haunting

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My Biology 499 came back to bite me in the ass today. After the almost two years of starting a terrifically difficult/huge learning experience with my Biology 499 thesis project, I have come back to collect the remains. It has come back to haunt me. Essentially, I ran far and away when I completed/submitted my thesis and then chose to forget about the remainder of the project. If you wouldn’t mind me telling you, this caused me to have the WORST FUCKING DAY I have ever had in my life, and that was due to a last minute requirement to fix some issues with the project. Coupled with several aspects of the day that just all went wrong, I have never been so stressed in my life.

The opening picture is taken from when I had to retrieve my project from the valley to count surviving subjects/gather data. As you can see it doesn’t seem very pleasant at all. The research enclosure is a section of the River Valley dedicated fro the University to do, you guessed it, research! Well its supposed to be cut off to the public right? Well homeless people live in the valley, and they find the materials useful for shelter. Hence the following picture:


Its not very clear, but they have hacked their way in. They use wire cutters and cut the fence open. Compare the above shot from today to opening photo of the gate in winter 2008. You can see the snipped wire. Now I am not saying that they don’t deserve shelter. What I am saying is that it adds to the danger aspect of the damn project cause now I have to wonder if somebody/people are down in the valley destroying my project/waiting/living in my moth enclosure.


I was going to jump the fence to recover the material I had left behind, but then the fence was conveniently cut open! When I culled my future with Entomology research I never thought I would be back. I had talked to my prof earlier this week and she needed the concrete blocks back, which are all the way at the bottom. Lovely.


This is what I had to haul up and down a series of 8 cages (filled with delicate lab material) and those freakin heavy cinder blocks/plywood to build an overwintering enclosure for them to survive in. It didn’t help that the stairs were covered with a foot of snow.


As you can see its no picnic. This is only part of the section, running from the top left corner where that dark line is. There is a section with no stairs, and just mud/dirt. I can’t even describe the agony of carrying that damn material up and down the stairs. I am a fairly healthy individual and I found this to be extremely strenuous. In fact, I believe my prof actually visited this site a few months ago to contemplate another project within, and after seeing the state of affairs, axed the project.


This is what the project looked like in January 2008. I had a series of Ash Leaf Cone Roller moths with different hormones applied within these cages. The tarp is to protect it somehow. From aliens ray beams. I had to nail the plywood so that the winter runoff wouldn’t drown the moths, and yet I pulled the cages out before the snow melted. So that was a waste of my time. Anyways, the moths were monitored for survival rates, and funny thing is that all the moths here died. Again, I did all that work for nothing. There was no difference between experimental and control groups. Lovely. No data.


This is what the project looked like today when I went down. It seems so surreal to think about how much has happened since then! Those clay like blocks are the concrete blocks that my wonderful friend Penner helped haul up. Do you know why I needed help?


Because the damn stairwell hasn’t been serviced since 1978 or something like that, and its rotting. Its even worse than when I went 2 years ago. There are whole stairs missing! There are stairs that appear stable, but when you step on them, they make snapping noises! Gah! Imagine falling through rotting stairs at a 60 degree angle, with two 40 lb concrete blocks. Lovely.


Some psycho researcher has rigged up some multilevel tree house in the valley. Let me remind you that this hill is friggen steep. Like I said 60 degrees or more in some areas, and certainly a long fall. And isolated. If you fell nobody would know. That second level is at least 40 feet up. Likely off since I have poor depth perception with this blackberry photo.

Anyways, that’s that. I hauled that shit out and I am done. Time to move on to other things! I actually didn’t imagine going to another thesis in the graduate school sense, so its amazing how much has changed since last year.


I just wanted to post this in case I forgot. But this was when I was having a really rough time last year, and my wonderful friends Joey and Mag dropped off my favorite comfort food- giant M&M cookies from Safeway! In case I haven’t officially posted a thank you, this one is for that. Thanks guys so much! It means a lot to me. The cookie’s deliciousness also means a lot to me!


Also total plug- I benched 100 lb dumbbells 103 times today, without the energy drink! If you remember I blogged a few weeks ago about the 100 lb dumbbell press at 101 reps, but with an energy drink. Today, no extra input from disgustingly gross sugar drinks! Huzzah!


Also this just in- I dislike newbs in gym. It has NEVER been said to smash the dumbbells together when you are bench pressing! GAH! It is loud! It is distracting! You chip the plates! Gah!

I need to sleep now. I start work tomorrow!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. mag says:

    >wicked tree house…i remember the worst day of your life, glad that’s behind you! I can’t believe you worked there..its like the jungle/arctic/scary=P teeheehee glad you liked the cookie, it was the last one left.=) all in the name of cheat day.

  2. van says:

    >Ellis! I don’t know how you have the time to update your blog so often. Just wanted to tell you that I think your blog is really cool and I like reading about how you’re doing, whether you’re really happy or really pissed or what not. I actually haven’t checked this out in awhile now but I’ll check it out more often now. I’m glad the worst day of your life is over too. =)

  3. alice cooper says:

    >haha Mag that cookie was gold, I loved it! And yeah my Biol 499 project was like in the middle of nowhere despite being right by the University at the Biological Sciences building. Vanessa- haha thanks. I like blogging cause it lets me just type my thoughts out, and its kind of fun! At least it feels like I am doing something productive, even if its poorly worded blog entries.

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