Spring Break

Since this is my "college journal" of sorts to tell the world my joy, whoa and tribulations... I'm really looking forward to upcoming Spring Break. aaaarrrrggghhh... I really hope I'm going to be able to catch up on all the loose ends with my school-work.

John (instructor at BCC) recently gave me a printout, "Aid to the recognition of Fresh-Water Algae, Invertebrates, and Fishes"... after peering through the microscope for several hours and seeing such diversity of life-forms in different samples of water (three to date),
1. John's "Algae tank",
2. a sample strained from a salt-water tank, and lastly,
3. the BCC Aquaculture Ctr. has a tiny pond with lily pads growing in it. I began seeing the significance of the paper he gave me.

Lilypad pond

Lilypad pond
Lilypads in a tiny pond in front of BCC Aquaculture Ctr.

I'm thinking to go through the samples one at a time, and capture each in photograph, and video if its interesting...
Water Samples under Microscope

Water Samples under Microscope
What's frustrating... it may take 25 or 50 or more shots, via exterior digital camera (using super-macro, to even get one good clear image through the lens of my microscope). Even these shots... the best of the batch, came out blurry. The software program which was included with the microscope I purchased is good, but it can never match the light, and quality of the real-life scene I'm seeing through the lens of the microscope. Capturing a high-focused, quality and true-to-life image, takes a lot of time, and needless to say, a lot of work.

-- ... then document more detailed information about the lifeform...
what it is, and what it does. This, along with so many other things I'm caught up in, like our final research project (I chose disection of a fish) and honestly haven't made the first crack at working on it [too many other things I'm wrapped up into] I have my schedule stretched out so thin, to do and accomplish so much, I emphasize aaaarrrrggghhh... I need more time to do it all.
I'm over-extended. But I really do love it. The Aquaculture center has so many interesting things going on it. I just sorted through some of my recent photographs, like this one of the crawfish the center has growing in a trough out in the hatchery.


So many interesting things to learn about, but so little time. College was definately the right choice for me, although I'm not the youngest student (mid-late 30's) but it's never too late to start learning something new. I just couldn't get enough information from the web, and I couldn't afford all the books on Amazon required to get where I want to be in my personal studies / hobbies. Our local meterologist George Elliot, WECT News 6 said, when you stop learning new things, you stop growing. So, it's never too late to get back into school.
My interest in marine biology has been growing since I first became interested in Cetaceans (whales, porpoise, dolphins) back in 2001, followed by a growing interest in mollusks, which developed from some trips to the beach and sifting through beachdrift... little creatures often taken for granted by tourists who walk right by, stepping on the shells and sometimes breaking them... which is bad, on the occasion, say an Angelwing, a very fragile shell washes up in one piece on the shoreline, and they do on a rare occasion. It dawned on me, each of the species I was looking at, have a unique story to tell. I began finding out what those stories are. Marine Biologist Terry K. Hathaway with NC Sea Grant has helped to identify most of those species, and I really have appreciated the input.

Right now, Algebra is what's dragging my schedule down. My Algebra instructor told me I should have taken his course, when not taking as many other courses -- making more time to focus on Algebra. But on a positive note, I'm about to complete another course that ends mid-term, and that may free up more time to devote to Algebra studies, at least hopefully, ideally...

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