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October 28, 2010

Wow, student cruises are exhausting. I spent all day standing on the back deck deploying various pieces of equipment. I missed lunch and only managed to grab a bowl of cold leftover lasagna. Now, they are all gone and I finally get a chance to stop and breathe.

I’m starting to like this job more. I like feeling like I am starting to get the hang of it. Although as soon as I start to feel confident, something bad happens. I think a spammer has usurped our mail server somehow because people have started getting connection errors and been unable to send messages. HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS.

One of the graduate school fellowships that I want to apply to is due in a week. Crap. I’m too tired for this.

I care a lot about whether or not people respect me. I feel like I’ve impressed a lot of the scientists with my ability to quickly pick up all the skills expected of a tech. They want so much. For example, the ideal tech would be:

  • good with computers, networks, electronics, and mechanical systems (basically everything)
  • interested in being at sea for extended periods of time
  • capable of acting in safety/emergency situations
  • able to smoothly coordinate deck operations with untrained assistants

After the multibeam cruise, I felt so awesome. A lot of the science party complimented me on my tech abilities. I had fixed the internet (I cannot under-emphasize how much people care/obsess over the internet on a ship). Life was great.

Then, the next cruise was a completely different animal – very heavy on the deck operations. It’s obvious that I’m more awkward on the deck. I just don’t have the experience under my belt that so many other people have. But that’s also the time when I work most closely with the crew. Sometimes, I feel like they see me at my worst – when I’m the least prepared and least effective. Plus, student cruises are especially bad because they often let the students choose the sampling methods – meaning that there isn’t anyone in the science party who is an expert on using that particular piece of equipment. That’s when they look at me and expect me to know everything. I hate that. How could it be possible for me to know how to use your obscure coring device? I STARTED IN MAY.

I’m good friends with some of the crew – but there are a couple people that I just can’t read. I’m not sure if they like/respect me or if they think I’m a waste of space. They may be somewhere in the middle.

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