Week three of classes are about to begin at Dickinson and I can’t even believe it.  These weeks have flown by and I have been beyond busy, which turns out to be a good thing.  Many students who also studied abroad have asked me how I am doing adapting to Carlisle, PA after being on an endless adventure this past year.  I have been too busy I haven’t even had time to think about how awful it is to be back.  Okay, maybe that is a tad dramatic, it isn’t awful, it just isn’t the same as Turks and Caicos, or Africa, or Hawaii…boy am I spoiled.

So what is a typical week like for me?  I am currently enrolled in 4 courses: Nature Writing (an english/ environmental science class), Aquatic Management (love this!  All about streams and lakes), Microeconomics (ick), and statistics.  Aquatics is my most difficult class but most fun.  Last week for lab we went on a field trip to canoe on a river for four hours, looking at macro invertebrates and testing water quality! The week before that we went on a raft into a lake and did more water quality monitoring (temp, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, visibility), it is very fun and relates closely to my job I have this year.  i am a watershed coordinator for a non-profit on campus called ALLARM (Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring).  I am dealing with storm water issues, so working closely with the community, attending meetings, organizing workshops, and things like that!  Storm water is a huge issue in Pennsylvania due to the acidic rain.  Not only that but the water runs off into the Letort Springs, which is a world-renowned creek nearby that is famous for its trout!  So obviously it is very important to keep that water as clean as possible.  Unfortunately, after snow melt or rain, agricultural runoff (nutrients and fertilizers) and road salts are all washed down into those drains, causing water pollution.  My job is to minimize that as much as possible.

My second on campus job is working at the library.  I love this job as it is some time to sit and relax and even do some work!  I am currently on one of my shifts as we speak!  last week I picked up extra hours at both ALLARM and the library to reach the maximum number of hours students are allowed to work.  So yes, I have been quite busy.

For my unpaid jobs I am a tour guide, known on campus as the Liberty Cap Society.  Coming back to campus and giving tours has been sooo funny, I forgot names of buildings and we have a brand new gym and eating options which I know very little about.  But giving tours is rewarding and I love it.  I am also a “global ambassador” for the center for global education and engagement.  I tell students about how awesome my semesters abroad were, work at the travel abroad fairs, and meet with students.

Lastly, are my clubs and organizations.  I am vice president of Phoenix, a womens volunteer group.  This weekend I got to play with puppys and work at Pet Co at an adoption event which was a huge success! I am also getting involved with the campus magazine called “dickinson science” where I hope to take some photos, edit pictures, and hopefully get to write some articles!

So between class, work, clubs, homework, working out, meetings, and finding time to eat and sleep, I have been living on the edge of complete exhaustion, but it has been perfect. Working for ALLARM is such good experience and a little extra money every week is perfect for feeding my weekly Chipotle and Fro Yo appetite!  I also hope to take a few weekends off and visit Philly, Washington DC, Connecticut, and other nearby places!  It is so nice to have a car here as I have freedom and (in all my freetime) go for hikes and explore the area (not quite sure when that is going to happen though).

My shift is now over and I am about to go to bed, my three hours of sleep last night did not cut it!  More updates to come if anything particularly exciting happens!

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