A Year Later

Hello gang! So, I haven’t posted in over a year. Which is terrible, I know! I plan on posting more often this year, even though I have lots to do and such little time (thesis, applying to doctoral schools, applying for research grants, jobs … all that fantastic stuff). I think blogging will serve as a therapy as I’m busy with everything else and possibly going mad.

Anyway, I thought I’d write a little post to catch everyone up on what I’ve been doing for the past year:

1. Grad School! Which is pretty obvious, and has taken up so much of my time this last year. But I survived my first year, and I barely cried along the way. This past year I’ve done projects on a local hunting camp that is part of Eau Claire county’s sustainability and conservation program, helped out a professor with gathering interviews that discuss the use of memory in different academic fields, and a project on the home front in Ireland during WWI. I’ve also worked as a graduate assistant for three different classes, and saw my favorite professor retire (after a long a glorious career). On top of that all I’m working on learning German. I took a German 101 class my final semester of my undergrad, and I loved it. Since I need to have a couple European languages to continue to study European history I decided to continue on with learning German on my own — with the help of Duolingo (which is pretty great if you’re looking to brush up on a number of languages) and Goethe Institute online courses (which are definitely harder, and a lot of the courses assume you know things).

Learning German is really a commitment. But when I'm able to understand some lines in movies without the subtitles, it's really rewarding.
Learning German is really a commitment. But when I’m able to understand some lines in movies without the subtitles, it’s really rewarding.

2. Photographing! I continued my job as a photographer for the local newspaper. While I only worked on weekends during the school year I’m glad I stuck with the job because it really is gratifying to have this job where I can be creative, but also still staying in my journalism roots. And, for a while during the winter I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about taking photographs, but now that summer has rolled around again I’m back on top of my game and really enjoying that And I bought a new lens for my birthday — it’s the famed Canon “pancake” lens, and it’s wonderful. I’ve been using it almost exclusively to shoot anything that is not sports. I feel that since this is a prime lens I’m really rethinking how to make photos with it, which is good when stuck in a rut.

Mock Orange blossoms taken with the
Mock Orange blossoms taken with the “pancake” lens. It has an f-stop as large as 2.8, and gives some wonderful depth of field.

3. Haircut! If you know me at all then you know that I’ve had the same hairstyle — bangs and long loose waves — since I was 13. Almost 10 years! Crazy, right? But this past February I took the plunge and had it cut off into a long-ish bob. Now, I have to be honest and say that I really waffled between loving the hairstyle and wishing I had my long hair back so I could braid it. Right now it’s grown out a little more than it was originally, and I think I’ll let it grow out until this winter and see if I feel like cutting it again or letting it grow out more.

Haircut! And a surprisingly good selfie, taken with my phone and  my tiny CamKix wide angle phone camera lens.
Haircut! And a surprisingly good selfie, taken with my phone and my tiny CamKix wide angle phone camera lens. Also, bangs, what are you doing?

That’s all for today. But I’m going to keep everyone updated frequently — with photos and stories and general updates on life.

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