Saturday, March 28, 2009

And There Now Is A Plan

I've been pretty vocal of my love of Grad School. It makes me happy to spend time doing the readings and to write the papers. Things had been a bit up in the air since I was officially accepted into the program starting the fall of 2009. But now I have a plan.

I have been meeting with a professor about a paper that I was writing for another class about social support groups in second life. He had been giving me advice on how to do the research and some of the things I should be looking at. So, at my second meeting with him, and after I got my official acceptance letter, I asked him to be my thesis adviser. To which he said yes. So YEAH for me!! I'm incredibly excited. He specialized in Computer Mediated Communication, which is what I'm into as well. And he is into my research project. I sat down with him last week and set up my schedule and determined that I will actually go the communication route instead of mass communication, which is actually really good. I'd been going back and forth not sure which I should do and really just needed someone to tell me what to do.

With that said, the communication route is apparently more difficult and will be especially hard for me since I have no background in interpersonal communication. I went the pure journalism route for my BA. So, it's going to be a rough road, but I'm sure I can handle it....somehow. The best news...He wants me to do directed research over the summer and present at a conference in the fall, and then publish in the spring. Pretty sweet!! Oh, and he told me I should get my PhD....which I am actually considering doing. Who would have thought that someone who barely made it through their BA would be looking at getting a PhD....oh how life changes!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Once In A Lifetime...

One of the reasons we chose to go to Iceland, at least for me anyway, was to see the northern lights. I've always wanted to see them and had it on my list of things to do before I die, and I finally got to do it!! We went out at around 9pm on Thursday night on a tour that took us outside of the city (away from the street lights etc.) As you can imagine it was freezing cold and the wind was blowing so much that it made it impossible to take a picture outside. We chose to stay in the bus and snap some photos from there and they came out fabulous!! The weather there changes amazingly fast and went from snow blowing so hard it hurt your face to virtually no wind at all. So our bus stopped again and we got some more shots...Aurora Borealis - Iceland
And just to prove we were there....
Aurora Borealis - Iceland

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Have Thighs of Steel...

Yesterday we went horseback riding. It was terrifying. And today my body is incredibly sore. I can barely walk. I don't know how the girls who ride the horses there everyday do it!

We rode our horses for around an hour or so through lava fields and man was it hard. I had a good horse, he was little and didn't run away with me on him or anything, but it was still scary for me. I'm sure I gave my poor horse mixed messages, I know I must have told him one thing and did the exact opposite with my body, but it worked out.

Unfortunately I don't have any video of us riding our horses, but I did get some video of the farm....and other parts of the country (oh and the waterfall in the video is one of the smaller ones, we're seeing Gulfoss tomorrow when we go superjeeping and caving).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Swimming Between Eurasia and The Americas...

That's where we went snorkeling today. In between the two tectonic plates. Ya ya...I know, Iceland and snorkeling doesn't so much mix, but it was actually pretty cool (in both senses). Apparently the lake they do the snorkeling in is a constant 32 degrees or so year round (it's so cold that fish don't even go there!). So, even if we went there in the summer it would be cold. But, they are prepared. We got down snowsuits to wear under the water suits. The water was amazingly clear and it didn't feel cold at all with all our layers! Pretty cool that we could see where the fissures were and snorkeled between tectonic plates! Apparently this is the only place on earth you can see them (or so they say). Sadly we couldn't get pictures of ourselves snorkeling because there wasn't anyone there to take the pictures (except for some other tourists who took our picture with their camera, I asked them to email the pictures to us but I'm unsure if they really understood, so I'm not crossing my fingers! You can however, see what we see from the tour company should you choose to (and I would suggest it because it's pretty cool!)
Þingvellir National Park Snorkeling
The hardest part of the whole thing? Getting the GD head thing on! This is actually my favorite photo of the trip and believe it or not it wasn't staged. I'm pretty sure this is the point where I lost one of my diamond earrings. Sadly I got the earrings in South Africa and it has sentimental value :( But life goes on right?!! Tomorrow, I hope to conquer my fear of horses...more to come...
Þingvellir National Park Snorkeling

Monday, March 2, 2009

Glacier Hiking and Ice Climbing

Way too tired to type after 9 hours of hiking/climbing, but we made a video...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The One Where Everything Goes Well!!

Ever have one of those days where things just go perfectly?? I had one of those days today (and yesterday as well...). Today we slept in, we had no plans other than lunch with friends so there was no need for an early morning.

We met up with Barry (who we both worked with for a while) and his girlfriend Heather in Boston where they both live. We got a tour of the station he currently works for and pizza which can I tell you is FANTASTIC! They dropped us off at the airport where we hung out for several hours (5 to be exact). But this was actually a good thing because I got probably 1/3 of my second life paper done. So, less stress on this vacation for me!

So, the best news of all, we ended up in first class for our flight. Accidentally, but first class none the less. I was in charge of getting us to the right seats and quite frankly I failed. I didn't see the 1 in front of the 5, so I had us sitting in seat 5d and 5e instead of 15d and 15e. We were all moved in and the flight attendant came over and asked to see our boarding passes and told us we were in the wrong seats. So we started to gather our stuff to go to our correct seats and he told us just to stay where we were. SCORE! In first class I had smoked salmon, fish and potato's. Then two chocolate deserts. It was really good. We also got some presents which included hand cream, socks and lip chap, oh and a really nice bag to hold it all. I'll be keeping the bag with me all the time.