the real thing

So, at 4:00 this morning I handed in my last thesis revisions before my defense. at 8:00 this morning, I started my new job. Yes folks, I am going just slightly insane. the last several months have been a whirlwind of activity for me. It feels just a little bit like being spit suddenly out the end of a very long, convoluted waterslide - I've got water up my nose, I'm feeling slightly nauseous, but there's a distinct feeling of relief.

Back in February I was grudgingly plodding away on my thesis, wondering why I should hurry to finish when there didn't seem to be any jobs waiting for me at the end when, lo and behold, "XXX" Environmental Consultants called me up out of the blue and said, "hey, we like your resume. would you like a job?". to which i replied, "umm. ok". So now I find myself juggling wilderness first aid ,swiftwater safety training, and job orientations with thesis revisions, defense preparations, and studying and I'm wondering just what I got myself into. I've had 2 hours of sleep, and 3 cups of coffee. And when I get off work today, I have to go back to school to work on my thesis presentation. On Friday at noon, I'm going to pass out on the floor.

The company I now work for is called "XXX". We're a bunch of scientists and engineers who work mainly on mining and hydroelectric projects conducting baseline environmental studies, environmental monitoring, and impact assessments. I'm working in the downtown Vancouver office (a source of mixed feelings - especially when it comes to waking up every morning with the knowledge that I can't wear jeans to work anymore). The people are really great - I've had a chance to get to know a few in the last couple of weeks at training courses. I think I'm going to like it here.

My master's degree is nearly done - thesis defense is Friday morning at 9. after that, I'll need to make more revisions, hand in the final final copy, and publish a couple of papers to formally wrap up my academic education - simple, right? When I arrived for my first day of work, there was a box of personalized business cards waiting for me:

"Kirsten MacKenzie, M.Sc."

Environmental Scientist

Every once in a while I sneak a peek at them, but I'm too superstitious to take them out of the box until Friday. I am so glad this is nearly over. I'm at my desk reading through an environmental impact assessment - I can barely wait to write my own! No references! I can make vague ambiguous statements and not have to back it up with any peer-reviewed literature!

Welcome to the world of professional science - where the scientific method goes out the window.

No comments: