Tagged: monkeys

leaving on a jet plane…

I’ve been telling folks “I’ll be in Brazil this summer” for months now, but I think it really only just now hit me that this is actually going to happen. 

My blog is mostly about my running and not so much about my other life, academia, but that other part is a really huge piece of who I am. Tomorrow, I’m taking off to Brazil to collect data for my dissertation. I’ll be studying capuchin monkeys, how they navigate and how they use space. I’m excited, nervous, sad, scared, happy… basically, you name an emotion, any emotion, and it has probably happened between my ears at some point in the last 24 hours. I’ve been to this field site before, but never for this long. Plus, there’s something about it being “for the dissertation” that carries a great deal more weight. 

Don’t worry. I’ll be back to blogging in August. I still have big running goals for the rest of the year. In fact, I recently signed up for the Athens Half Marathon in October. After that, my plan is to start marathon training for early 2014. 

I will be sure to let you all know when I return and how many miles I ran while I was in the field. I’m aiming for more than zero.

See you in August ❤


Get your shit together

So, the time has come, ladies and gentlemen. The time has come for me to really start getting my shit together.



Actually, the time has come first for me to blog about getting my shit together. It’s like a pregame. Immediately after this though… It’s on, you guys. Shit. Together.


My game face

Believe it or not, I’m actually not talking about running for once. I’m talking about my field work. I head to Brazil in mid-May and I come back at the end of July. This trip will be for me to collect data for my dissertation research on nonhuman primate spatial cognition. As my dad likes to say, I’ll be following monkeys around in the woods. Yes, really.

There is so much to do to prepare. I have to make sure I’m completely ready and packed, and that my undergrad mentee is too. I have to mentally prepare and make sure I know my data collection procedures back to front. It’s a mental and physical process to get ready to go and I’m not there yet. Not at all. So much to do, so little time.

I’ve been investigating different ways for me to maintain contact with my family while I’m away. It is next to impossible considering the lack of internet or cellphone coverage in the location where I’ll be. However, I will have occasional access to internet (think maybe once or twice in the 2.5 month span) and I will try to send messages through an intermediary more frequently. This process requires writing emails, putting them on a flash drive, and sending the flash drive with someone who is going to town and can email them out. It’s like the pony express, but with motorbikes.

Believe it or not, I actually like parts of the idea of unplugging. I like not having/needing to check email 800 times per day. I like being quiet and concentrated on my work. There’s no facebook or twitter notifications. It’s blissfully peaceful in a way.


Who am I kidding?

Actually, it can also be pretty unnerving at times. I do, however, like the exercise of unplugging because I think it does my brain good. But being out of contact with Sergio and my family is not fun. It just plain sucks. It’s the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. You know what though? I’m going to live. It’s only 2.5 months out of a whole big life. And being in the field is awesome. You get to see monkeys up close and personal. You get to see the most amazing night sky that ever was (I’m not kidding). You get to live somewhere most people have never even heard of and have conversations with some amazing folks. It’s pretty cool.

I will have lots of pictures for you guys when I get back. Who knows, I may even try running while I’m there. Then I can recommend some running routes if you ever find yourself following monkeys in the woods in northeastern Brazil. 

Shit together time starts…. NOW.