Sunday, May 10, 2015

New Chapter

This time next week, I would have been in my hotel room in Durham, North Carolina getting ready for a new chapter in my academic and research life. I will be actually working hands on with primates instead of just observing them in zoos. This is going to be the first time I've ever left home to do research. While this not really considered "fieldwork", I am technically in the field ... but I get to go back to a nice extended stay hotel room with staff that caters to me. I will miss my husband and my cats dearly, and I only wish they could have come with me. But alas, sometimes you have to walk alone.

Photo from the Duke Lemur Center
But, let me back up just a bit ...

So, I will be doing some behavioral research at the Duke Lemur Center with ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.) for my Master's thesis. I will be there on weekdays to train these lemurs to use my apparatus. Eventually, these lemurs would have known how to use the apparatus and testing phase begins. There is no telling when they'll be ready to move on to the testing phase, however, since these lemurs have never done the kinda stuff I want them to do so it might take a while. I'm optimistic that I can get this done in about 5 weeks, but who knows. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I will be blogging daily while I'm doing my research at the Duke Lemur Center. It's probably a good idea to keep a journal of what I did while I'm at the Duke Lemur Center but I think it'll be fun for y'all to follow along. Also because this is 2015 and I ain't about that LiveJournal life. Here are some, but not limited to, highlights of my adventure:

  • Witness the first time I have a nervous breakdown!

  • What will I do when I realizes that the nearest acceptable Asian food is more than an hour away?

  • It's been a month and these lemurs have yet to learn to use the apparatus. Watch me have another nervous breakdown.

  • Watch me post a selfie each day so you can see my outfits. I won't be packing a lot of clothes from NYC so watch me serve Walmart realness. Maybe I should start a hashtag for my selfies on Twitter. Maybe #PrancingPapioSelfie? ... I'll come back to this.

  • Be there when I have my aha! moments with the lemurs or my thesis ideas!

  • Join me as I explore Durham, North Carolina and the Research Triangle. Interesting sights, food and shopping. Yes, shopping. That's like totes important.

  • Get exclusive photos and information of my research before I debut them in conferences! Of course, you'd have to understand that there are poachers out there and they are very mean people. I can only share so much.

Photo from the Duke Lemur Center

So, I'd like to personally invite you to be a part of my journey. See you very soon!


Melissa Nelson Slater said...

Waiting with baited breath! Also you should totally make their alarm call your ringtone. Then shop at Walmart. ;)

Melissa Nelson Slater said...

I think I just posted the same comment like 3 times but if I didn't then Good Luck & be Sassy!

Raymond Vagell said...

Thanks Melissa! I think having a ruffed lemur alarm call as my ringtone is gonna be a hoot at Walmart. But they might think I'm the Devil and I really wanna make it back to NYC in one piece.

The sass shall be with me, always.