March, part 1

March was busy, ya’ll. I came back to Utah, celebrated my birthday, had my sister and my dad over to visit, went on two road trips, and then hosted L.’s family. And I worked on my dissertation, presented at a conference, and tried to ignore the fact that the end of graduate school is looming and I’m not quite sure what the next step will be.

(The latter is giving me a lot of anxiety, when I let it. At the conference, a senior scholar asked what my plans were, post-PhD, and I said that I would love an academic position, but given L. and mine’s two-body problem/dual career problem, and the scarcity of tenure-track jobs anyway, I was exploring my options. He then wished me good luck and told me that I would no doubt be exceptional at whatever I chose to do. That was very nice of him and I think of those words whenever I start feeling like a failure, which is often.)

But! You can always count on your family to distract you, so here are some pictures from the trip my sister E. and I took to Dinosaur National Monument on the Utah/Colorado border.

Why yes, we are wearing dinosaur-themed t-shirts. Thank you, Threadless.

Why yes, we are wearing dinosaur-themed t-shirts. Thank you, Threadless.

IMG_1600

First stop, educational opportunity.

But not too educational, apparently, as there were plenty of imposing yet plastic dinosaurs in the garden behind the museum.

But not too educational, apparently, as there were plenty of fun, imposing yet plastic dinosaurs in the garden behind the museum.

Oh no! Dino has been captured!

Oh no! Dino has been captured!

Best part of Dinosaur, CO. The town itself is small enough to be almost non-existent. The information board made a joke about it almost going extinct after the oil bust, which was both funny and sad.

Best part of Dinosaur, CO. The town itself is small enough to be almost non-existent. The information board made a joke about it almost going extinct after the oil bust, which was both funny and sad.

IMG_1658First stop: the quarry. I don’t have any good pictures, but if you want to see what I’m talking about, go here. Basically, what you get is a wall of dinosaur fossils still in their stone environment. When they were uncovering them, eventually, they ran out of funding and storage space, and since they weren’t really finding new specimens, they decided to build an enclosure around part of the quarry so visitors could get an idea what it looked like. They had handy little visual tech aids, which were cool, to help you identify specific fossils, and an enthusiastic ranger who told us the above story. It was really cool and might have been my favorite part.

Hiking in the desert.

Hiking in the desert.

Our selfie taking skills steadily improved. Not pictured: the wicked sunburn I gave myself. (Who needs sunscreen in the desert? Not us, that’s who!)

Not pictured but also included in E.’s trip here: breakfast at the Park Café, a study session at the library (turns out all play and no work makes these two grad student sisters very anxious), lots of coffee, lots of walks with Josie the Dog, and much talking. It was heavenly.

3 thoughts on “March, part 1

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