Wednesday, October 08, 2008

321. Santa Barbara Harbor Research and Education Cruise Aboard the Double Dolphin: Picasaweb Slideshow Included!

This past Monday (October 6, 2008) was the first "lab meeting" or "lab gathering," which was quite a very multi-sensory, experiential event: I would have never expected a "research trip" aboard the Double Dolphin (followed by a big dinner at the Bay Street Cafe)! Not to mention it was Oran and Gail's 29th anniversary! I am so used to being inside buildings all day that this boat trip was quite refreshing!

I think it's important to reflect upon this event because (1) the academic environment on campus can become extremely formal and stressful, (2) it's wonderful to be exposed to your labmates and partners in such a casual, relaxing environment! and (3) since we're all quarantined on a boat, we are force to talk to each other rather than be distracted by the million of other stimuli on campus! I think I will need this stretch of memory to help me get through the rest of the quarter. Plus, I feel like it was some form of ritualistic annexation of the "Young Lab" in my mind. I had the opportunity to meet and greet several characters, but I felt very fortunate to have had more extensive conversations with Gail Osherenko and Julie Robinson. I already somewhat know Sarah, Priya, Jaime, and Wesley. Alexios wasn't there. In Greece? Gail informed me of a few of her film projects, one involving loons. I also learned a little more about Oran's background, and perhaps come to understand why he, as a social scientist, took me in the lab, though I come from an ecology/evolution/earth science background. I found out that Oran's brother is a botanist! How cool!

Julie gave me a lot of advice and confidence in concern of my projects in environmental media. I am really grateful for the pep talk. She also discussed factors in concern of role-play in filming. I have a complex about "bossing other people around" which is derived from my mother's philosophy: "The only person you can change and control is yourself. You can't change other people and you can't expect other people to change you." But apparently there is a very serious take on roleplay in film production, whether you are the "director" or the "production assistant." People obey the role and the system. Most times films operate like dictatorships, but depending on the situation can be more democratic and open-ended in terms of top-down and bottom-up interactions.

I didn't spot any unusual creatures on the boat trip. The usual seals and sea birds that I had been trained to identify about 5 or so years ago. The esoteric sunset. But honestly, it was very nice to watch a sunset for once! Julie's husband was a superb boat captain! Being on a boat was quite cathartic. At the Bay Street Cafe, a largely fish-dominated menu, I ordered a chicken-pasta meal, which was very good.

I slept well on Monday night. I am so grateful to be a part of the Young lab! This is such an amazing environment that promotes and fosters creativity and communication! Contrary to my experiences in other universities the last few years. Thank you everyone for the great time!

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