February 4, 2012

My Year So Far: Woods Hole

After leaving the ice, I spent a bit of time at home working at nature camp, writing college applications, training in mixed martial arts, and being a french tutor. In October I left for Woods Hole, MA, home of WHOIMBL, and my program of choice, SEA. SEA has a nice campus in Falmouth with four or five cottages and a building of classrooms, labs, and a library. I lived in Bellatrix house with six other kids and shared the responsibility of cooking and cleaning for ourselves, which was fun. In Woods Hole we learned about nautical and marine sciences, marine history and the social and environmental history of the Caribbean. We wrote two papers there, one was on a document and the other a particular theme of change in the Caribbean. I wrote about the history of the Prime Meridian and the Nautical Almanac, and the status of building codes and standards in the Caribbean, respectively.

Woods Hole was a really neat place to live and I hope to spend more time there some day. It was a cozy town right on the water with good food and great scientific resources. Our first weekend there, Woods Hole hosted a TEDx event. If you ever have the opportunity to go to one of those, do! It was a mind-bending, opening, and changing experience and I felt so inspired and informed when I left. Notable were Dr. Hanlon talking about the science of camoflageDr. Holmes speaking about Pleistocene Park in Siberia (where I hope to attend a research program in two summers), this talk about Dr. Spock and talking about science and New York Polyphony who sang some of Darwin's words to the tune of a mass. Well that's half of them, but they were all amazing!

I enjoyed spending fall there and biking and running and swimming in the ocean (almost every day until November 6th). There were tons of neat natural spots and a lovely public sheep/goat farm. I didn't really have a camera so I practiced painting a lot of my experiences from memory. One of my favorites is from the day our science teacher led us through the woods to this neat pond with a rope swing. It was November I think, so practically a polar plunge! And our group sustained several injuries, but it was quite enjoyable nonetheless.

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