Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thoughts and a List

Well it has certainly been some time since I've posted here. With my trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life the blog has kind of taken the back-burner but I missed it so here I am!

The field season with CFWEP (the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program- wrapped up with the fall newsletter being published. I wrote an article about the work we did in the local schools, educating 5th through 8th grade students on issues surrounding the Mill Town Dam and its removal, along with the effects, in general of mining which takes place up-stream of the dam. I encourage anyone who might read this to check out the CFWEP website because the history of this area is fascinating! In training to give these lectures and lead field stations on the river I got a real crash-course not only in this incredible and extensive history but also in the social and environmental impacts of mining, watershed health and the indicators of ecosystem health.

I went home to New York for a month to spend the holiday season with my parents and extended family. I got to see a bunch of my friends, which is always great and I got to work a bit at Harborside Veterinary Hospital. It was difficult finding a job in Montana. I moved there around the first of July but was unable to find work until the middle of October and even that was only seasonal, ending in mid-December. It was actually pretty fun though. I worked at a plant nursery called Pink Grizzly in Missoula that operates a wreath business and christmas tree lot in the colder months. The plant nursery work is due to start up soon. We should begin planting in March, which I'm looking forward to.

So anyways, when I was home and working at the animal hospital I realized that I'd been working there for a long time but I was always super excited about it. Since I've been trying to figure out the direction in which to take my life, in terms of possible careers, it made sense to reconsider going to veterinary school. So I've decided to do it! I'm gonna get my Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine!! I have to take a bunch of classes that are going to be difficult (a year each of physics, biochem, organic chem, inorganic chem, microbio, etc) before I can actually apply so I'm trying to figure out when and where I will take those classes. It gets complicated with the difficult job/ finance situation, having a serious boyfriend in Montana, and having my family in New York. I'm thinking though that I'm going to need to really focus on the classes while I am taking them so I can do my best, and hopefully also work at Harborside for the experience and the money to finance my education so I'll probably return to New York at some point this year.

Having a possible end, or at least a hiatus, to my living in Montana has made me realize how amazing it is that I am living here now. I am super excited for the spring so I can ride my bike and hike more. I ordered some micro-spikes to put on my shoes so I can hike in the winter when there isn't much snow but plenty of ice to make up for it! I'm making a list of everything I want to do. Keep in mind this is a working list so it's sure to expand greatly. If anyone has anything they think I should add to this list please let me know!
Here it is so far:
Watch a sled-dog race
Go snow-shoeing
Go cross-country skiing
Visit historic Fort Missoula
go to interesting lectures/ talks offered at the UM campus (it's 3 blocks from my apt!)
Go to Jerry Johnson hot springs in Idaho
Bike to trail from Lolo to Hamilton
Sit outside and draw
Go for a hike with my camera and just take my time noticing all the beauty
Go to a Missoula Maulers hockey game
Check out the MT Natural History Center
Hike the trail west of Missoula that follows the train tracks
Run in a race
Shadow an equine veterinarian
Volunteer at a farm in Missoula in exchange for some produce
Work at least one day at Homestead Organics in Hamilton, MT

For now, since I don't have work until March I'm going to try to take advantage of the time I have to do some of these fun things. A lot of them will be more fun in the spring when it's nicer out but since hot springs are nicer in the winter I'm planning on heading to Jerry Johnson tomorrow with my boyfriend and dog. It sounds like a really cool place because you have to hike before reaching the hot springs. I like the idea of that a lot more than commercializing the hot springs like they have done in Lolo. I was so surprised when I first saw Lolo hot springs because I had been expecting them to be in their natural form but it was really just an indoor pool that happened to be heated by geothermal energy. It might as well have had an electric heater though, since you couldn't really tell. I'm excited to see some legit hot springs! AND to make things even more exciting... I'm going to Lincoln, MT this weekend with Tyler to watch the Race to the Sky sled-dog races! I am soooooo excited! And afterwards we're going to go snow-shoeing. I am really looking forward to that!

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