An anglophone from the west. A francophone town. Hoo boy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

chez le dentiste

In the never ending list of things to do before I leave the country I went to the dentist. I have nothing against going to the dentist, but it's not really on my list of favorite things to do. And after all of my orthodontic work, I feel like I've spent more than enough time in the chair with people playing in my mouth. But you know, it's a good thing to do before you leave the country for months at a time. So I went.

And lo and behold, what did they find on my x-rays? Another wisdom tooth (or en français -- une dent de sagesse)! I've already had them out, and here my body is, producing new ones. So that brings my total up to three -- two removed, and one grown in the last two years. I'm sure they would have mentioned something about that at my last check*.

It must be because I just keep getting wiser.

* Because dentists like to take them out. I was glad that the dentist here wasn't too excited about it though. Yes, he said I could have it taken out, but the choice is mine. And if it's not causing problems it's not such a big deal.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grandescunt Aucta Labore*

And now I can say it officially. Congratulations and welcome to McGill. The official letters came in the mail yesterday, and now all that rests is some minor administrative hoops to jump through (registration, etc.). And the rest of that getting ready to go to Panama stuff.

For those of you who follow this blog that aren't in the loop, I'll be starting my doctorate in biology at McGill in September (actually in August), with a concentration in the Neotropical Environment Option (NEO) which is run through the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. What does that mean exactly? Well, I'll be getting a PhD from McGill, but the bulk of my research will take place in Panama with my primary supervisor. Other coursework will take place in Montreal with my co-supervisor.

So yeah.

I'm both excited and slightly terrified by it all, to be honest. Exciting things: new opportunities, new experiences, new contacts, new country, new language, and best of all -- doing something that interests me. Sorry English teaching. Terrifiying things: see exciting things. Except for that last one. Doing something I'm interested in is pretty exciting.

So, as of August 3rd I'll be in Panama, starting my first course in the program and getting my feet wet in Panama. I'll be staying down south until December, and then I'll be in Montreal. I know -- it would be nicer to be in Panama during Québec winter, but this makes more sense logistically (not to mention financially). Besides, like my Montreal based supervisor said to me -- I'm a Canadian girl. I can take it.

* For those whose Latin is rusty: By work, all things increase and grow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

back in the TR

And we're back.

Back in stinky (literally) TR. Things here are as always, only muggier and rainier. I keep trying to banish the rains to the west of the country, but my powers must be on the fritz. Other than that, things are pretty quiet around here. The cats (and boy) are glad to have me back. I'm glad to be back too, but I think I'm experiencing withdrawal or something. We had a barbecue on the back patio the other night, but it was just with us. What's that about? No people, no playing cards, only one bottle of wine? I'm sure once I get deeper into my planning and lists I'll get over it, but it seems I miss spending time with family types.

For Canada Day yesterday we hid out from the rain in our fave local cafe with a few books, enjoyed a pint at our fave local pub, and sangria at a place near us -- it has our fave patio and okay sangria, but the food isn't too good and the service has been crap lately. The patio was full unfortunately. The crappy service made me cranky.

We did have a fabulous fireworks display, which the city has now moved so that we can see it perfectly from our balconies. Excellent. I'm told that these fireworks were much more intense than the fireworks for St-Jean Baptiste, but not as well attended. Does that mean some federal funding body is pumping money into Canada Day fireworks in Québec? I have to wonder, especially as they are cutting money everywhere else (cultural capital of Canada, festivals, etc.). Who knows. But there were a lot of Canada flags on the streets that I don't remember seeing last year...