Well...my lifelong dream of moving to China to publish one blog post about dragonflies has been completed and now that that's out of the way I have relocated back to America. All seriousness aside, though I did not stay the intended duration of my trip in China I do not consider it a failure. While the trip didn't turn out how I had wanted it to (my blog about my China experience), I learned a lot of things I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn were I stateside. As well...obviously, I saw some badass new dragonflies!!
Coming back home felt somewhat like a setback in many ways and I knew I didn't want to be where I was. Though it's not necessarily the most appealing form of motivation, being extremely frustrated with your situation can do the trick sometimes.
Now that I'm back in the motherland I have decided on pursuing what I have mentioned a previous blogpost, ecstatic beginnings--going back to school to study insects!! As can probably be surmised from the color scheme of my website (and generally informal tone of my writing and observations), I'm not currently a real scientist. It hurts to admit this to myself. At best, I'm an amateur entomologist. Can there be any merit in this?? I needed answers...to find out if little old me, with a useless liberal arts degree, could go to grad school and get a science-based degree!
Getting this process started was daunting as I expected rejection due to my lack of a real scientific background, as well as my nonexistent knowledge of how one even goes about getting into grad school. I was curious if I would be required to complete another entire undergraduate career before even beginning. I believe the answer is somewhere in the middle of starting over and starting immediately.
I am fortunate enough to relatively live close to the author of one of the books I've used to study dragonflies, Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States, Dr. John C. Abbott, who is the Curator of Entomology for the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Natural Science Center, and whose website, OdonataCentral, has also been an invaluable resource for me. I nervously e-mailed Dr. Abbott about the plausibility of entering a masters program in entomology despite not having a science background. Dr. Abbott agreed to meet with me at his office in Austin so I took a lil solo roadtrip to meet him and find out what I needed to do.
Succinctly...meeting Dr. Abbott and seeing his facility was mindblowing. It was an amazing experience for me and I couldn't stop smiling or thinking about how cool it was to be there. As well, he was supportive of my ambition and said it wasn't unprecedented to enter a grad program without the typical science-based background, which was an unbelievable relief. When I left the office I felt exhilarated, excited to start on a path that I somehow overlooked despite the fascination with insects that has been with me for years. I have a lot of work to do still but I feel more confident now in my steps.