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Who I mean when I say “we” June 18, 2017

Posted by stinawp in Uncategorized.
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Usually when I say “we”, I mean my field assistant and I. This year I have a new assistant, since my previous one graduated from college a couple of years ago and has established herself as a field assistant with several of the field station’s projects. Since the experiments I’m doing this year are quite different, I figured it was time to train a new field assistant. My new assistant is a Costa Rican undergraduate who actually has a lot of experience with caring for caterpillars, since her family operates a butterfly farm. She understands more English than she speaks, so we’ve been conducting most of our work in Spanish. Unfortunately, this means I’m getting the better end of the deal in terms of improving my language skills, but it’s hard to engineer situations at Palo Verde where it makes sense to converse in English. We had the idea of alternating Spanish and English days, but the one time we tried to do an English day, we both had so much trouble remembering which language we were supposed to be speaking that we haven’t repeated the attempt.

At the beginning of June, “we” also included my advisor, who visited for a week. It was funny, because several times he said that the only time his advisor had visited the field station where he did research, he wasn’t there at the time, and he wasn’t sure what he would have done if his advisor had visited. In this case, what he did was tag along with us, hold things when asked, and take tons of photos, including a bunch of us working. We also had the time to have a few long conversations about some of the analyses and manuscripts I’ve been working on, so that was useful too.

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