Caught in the act! Procrastinating

I didn’t want to blog about my thesis, but since writing it is literally all I have been doing lately, its hard to think of anything else. I was excited to write this blog post as a chance to procrastinate a bit.

I have really enjoyed graduate school thus far, but trying to put down onto paper everything you have done for the past three years, and then compare it to everything that has been done on the subject…ever….is one of the hardest things I have done to date. The thing that keeps me going is the the sense of accomplishment I know I will have once I am done.

This whole process has given me a lot of time to reflect on graduate school (while procrastinating…) and while I can’t wait for April 26th (the day I submit my thesis), I also can’t help feeling sad when I realize that it means the end of a wonderful and fulfilling chapter of my life. Ok better move on before this post begins to sound like the acknowledgements section of my thesis…

Other things I have been doing while procrastinating include clicking on the Google Doodle of the day. I always like to check it out because I usually learn something new every time. Yesterday’s was pretty cool. In case you didn’t get a chance to see it, check it out an article about it here. It was an illustration in celebration of the 366th birthday of Maria Sibylla Merian, a scientific illustrator whose beautifully detailed entomology drawings made her famous. She is best known for documenting, via illustrations, the metamorphosis of caterpillar into butterfly.

One of Maria's many beautiful illustrations: search her name to see more!
One of Maria’s many beautiful illustrations: search her name to see more!

I really enjoyed the doodle, and browsing through her artwork, and it reminded me of Kate’s recent blog post and the important relationship between science and art. Just like the artists whose work is currently displayed at the Museum of Science, Maria Sibylla Merian used art as a tool to make science more accessible to the general public. And in a time before high tech cameras and microscopes, art was one of the only ways to document the natural world. Even today, I think there is something to be said for temporarily abandoning all this technology and exploring nature in a more…well…natural way. For instance, while my students complain that they have to draw all the organisms they dissect in lab, I bet they are much more likely to remember where the green glands of a crayfish are by drawing and labeling it than by taking a picture with their smart phone.

Well, thats all the procrastination I have time for at the moment, back to writing! 16,000 words down…..? more to go!


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