|The CUNY Graduate Center on Fifth Ave.|
Nonetheless, I'm much happier in my Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEB) track. We're the second largest group with eight total students. EEB students complete just two rotations (one each semester), and it's expected you'll end up with the lab you had in mind when you applied to CUNY. When applying to Ph.D. programs, students usually seek out specific labs and ask if there is room in their lab. Once accepted, students pursue a project in that lab. This is the route I've always planned on taking, and even though things have the potential to not work out that well due to funding eventually coming from the campus I work with (i.e. money no longer coming directly from the Graduate Center) and other stuff that I decided to tune out because... I don't really care to work in a lab that's not exactly what I want to work with. That sounds selfish, but if I'm going to spend 5-7 years on a project that will consume my heart and soul then it should be a project I love (and for a lab that I enjoy).
During this orientation with the other biology students, we were advised on the classes we should take. By the end of spring semester, we need to take a course that represents one of the four core areas of the EEB track: behavior, evolution, ecology, and systematics. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll only knock off one of those courses this semester with a standard evolution course, in addition to a population/ecological genomics course (which doesn't fulfill the ecology requirement). However, in addition to the behavior and systematic courses that are offered in the spring, I will take a community ecology course that sounds much more up my alley to fulfill my ecology needs. While a much busier spring semester seems daunting to me, I'd much rather have a more open fall semester. This will allow me to 1) become more acquainted to the city first, 2) become more comfortable with a new school, and 3) get started in a new lab and become acquainted there too. Additionally, we all know the weather in the fall is way better than the weather in the spring (for the most part), and I'm more partial to fall weather. So, I'll load it up in the spring when it's dark and cold.
|One of four different orientation sessions I went to >_>.|
On Thursday, I finally met my potential adviser, Dr. Gruber. He's like the James Cameron of biology. Dr. Gruber is really into high tech cameras and works to modify them in order to perform under water. He's working on a submersible robot that will be able to help him study fluorescent proteins of coral reefs. I saw the lab and the building he works in at Baruch College, which isn't too far from the Graduate Center. It seems like it could be a fun set up. Dr. Gruber gave me a plethora of scientific reading to do on calcification, which is likely to be way out of my league, but something that really interests me. I hope to meet with him again next week.
To wrap up the week, I had a "science" orientation where we met some additional faculty and had a poster session representing biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. Unfortunately, the poster session was really loud (louder than any poster session I've ever attended) and kind of a waste of my time. While I appreciate the idea, it was too loud to hear anyone and too crowded. But I guess that's how poster sessions are supposed to be. Oh yeah, and this was after some dude shot up another dude just across the street from the Graduate Center--but more on that below.
|A quiet corridor in the Conservatory Garden.|
|A view in the very north eastern corner of Central Park.|
|The Graduate Center is a stone throw away |
from the Empire State Building.
|The scene outside the Graduate Center at 5:00 that afternoon.|
Early that week, I was going into the Graduate Center between 9:00 and 10:00 for my various events. The shooting happened to occur at approximately 9:00 on a day that I wasn't due to the Graduate Center until 2:00. In fact, I was sleeping in when the shooting went down. Instead of being productive, I spent that morning following the story and trying to keep up with the sporadic posts from the Graduate Center regarding my orientation event scheduled for that afternoon. With my event still on, I went in as planned. When I got there, the corner was covered with cops and news teams. A very interesting sight to see, even though it was there because of a tragedy.
|On the corner of 34th & 5th.|