I leave for Costa Rica in two weeks. Excitement and nervousness are an understatement at this point as I’m still trying to scrounge up last minute things–hiking boots, thick socks, laundry stuff–nit-picky, last minute things that are all important. Another thing I’ve been trying to do is get a phone; from what I understand, all calls I receive at the field site will have to be emergencies and that will absolutely not fly with my family, so I’ve also been tasked with ordering an international phone for a month.
Since I’ve figured out a potential idea for a research project, I’ve become more excited than ever to go. In my head, I’ve already been planning out how I’m going to determine my data since what I’ve got in store is all behavioral-based so I’ll need to potentially create my own scoring sheet. Not to mention, running around in the jungle will probably make me extremely physically fit considering I haven’t really had to scale Bascom Hill this year. But, I think the most exciting for me, is being able to do this with people that are interested in the subject and want to be there. I don’t have a lot of people I can get excited about primates with (I’m sure my significant other and friends all want to punch me in the throat with how much I can go on), so this will be awesome for me.
And since finals ended for me on last Thursday, I’ve also been turning my attention to graduate school applications. I’ve signed up to take the GRE on August 21st and bought myself at least three GRE prep books so far. I’m a little intimidated about working with math again after a huge hiatus, but here’s hoping I can do well. I’m also incredibly nervous about my grades, but that’s another story entirely.
I’m looking into a lot of Anthropology programs since I don’t think I have the requisites available for Biology programs. I’m starting to create my lists of grad schools I’d like to attend and I’ve got a decent size so far. Right now, I think the front-runners for me are: Central Washington University (M.S. in Primate Behavior!), University of Iowa and Iowa State University tied for second, Ohio State University for third, and somewhere in there that I’m also considering: Southern Illinois University, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and University of Texas-San Antonio. I’m not really sure at this point what I can consider to be a reach or safety, so until I apply and find out, they’re all reaches in my book.
I’m absolutely not guaranteed or entitled to a graduate level education, so here’s hoping that doing this work in Costa Rica, at the research lab here as a technician, and my classes will help me get to the next level in primatology.