Students who wrote deferred final exams in April, because they were sick for the regular final exams, are asking me where their grades are.. 😳 sorry!
The fact is, that with a much recovered back -- I do pilates exercises every day -- I'm able to have a normal field-work, and conference-attending, summer of 12-14 hour work days -- yes, I love them. As a result, I've not had time to send grades in. My May and June blogging has also suffered. A rare "working from home weekday" is allowing me to play catch-up. Since early July, I've been working backwards thru' my four missing June & May 2016 posts. Here's my belated June 15 2016 post:
In late April, I got the message that I've been dreaming about for over 10 years. Adventure Canada, the family-owned and run Canadian back-country travel company, was looking for a botanist/plant ecologist to join their resource team on the Mighty St. Lawrence cruise. This expedition sailed from Quebec City, into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, stopping in Gaspé, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton, St. Pierre et Miquelon, and ended in St. John's, Newfoundland (1-11 June 2016).
The message I got from Cedar Swan, the Adventure Canada CEO: "Was I available, and interested in joining the team as a naturalist?" My answer? "Yeah!!"
Joining the Adventure Canada Expedition Cruise staff, means being willing to work from 7am to 9:30pm daily. The work is a cross between being a day-camp counsellor (check, for the City of Mississauga), tour guide (check, for the Ontario Legislature), and an undergraduate field course instructor (check, many times since 1986).
I had 4 weeks to get back up to speed on salt-marshes and estuaries, and to dust-off my photos, science articles and plant ID manuals. I hadn't been to some of the Mighty St. Lawrence destinations for 35 years!
I was also required to update my First Aid skills, which were 20 years out of date. I took an intensive all-day Lifesaving Society CPR C course, where I took copious notes. I got the highest mark(49/50) out of the class of 12 staff and students in the test at day's end: yes, dear students, I do follow my own advice about note-taking with paper and pencil, because it pays off.
In addition to searching out my field gear -- coats, rain pants, boots, etc. which I haven't worn for 2 years, because I couldn't do field work, I had to plan four 45 minute talks, which put me back into lecture preparation mode. Here's one of the talks that I gave on the trip:
— YorkUScientists (@YorkUScientists) June 11, 2016