We Made It


Louisiana Capital Building

It took two trailers, two sets of parents, and about 36 hours to relocate our home nearly 1,000 miles away. And I don’t think we could have timed our departure better due to the large snowstorm hitting the midwest only a few days after we left. Besides arriving here safe, the best part about the move was that both of our parents could be there for it. Not only did it made things easier/quicker but I was also happy they were able to share some first-time experiences with us; like taking a self-guided tour of the historic Louisiana capital city grounds or  enjoying our first Cortana Kiwanis Baton Rouge Christmas Parade.

And speaking of the parade: it was a blast. First off, rather than passing out loads of candy they threw out strands of beads. All colors, shapes, and sizes of beads were flying in our direction for about an hour straight. We weren’t sure what we were suppose to do with all of them, so we put some of them on our Christmas tree, made ornaments out of trinkets attached to the fancy sets, and sent several of our extras back to the Indiana for our niece, Evelyn, and nephew, JJ, to enjoy.  There were also over a dozen local marching bands and dance crews marching in the parade. Their  performance styles were much more loose yet  intense than that of what I’d seen in parades in the midwest, making it very refreshing. Following the parade, we enjoyed dinner with Meredith’s parents at the same place we had breakfast that morning with mine, Magpie Cafe. It would be fair to say that Meredith likes that place.

But it hasn’t been all fun and parades: I did informally begin orientation for my research position at LSU. Last week I was able to see my new office, as well as begin learning the ins and outs of Dr. Xu’s Watershed Hydrology Lab. My new lab group hosts students from all over the world (China, Nepal, Dominican Republic), which I think is fantastic as I hope it will challenge me to look at my research from various global perspectives.


Labeling our sampling containers before heading out

One of the graduate students that I will be sharing an office with was kind enough to take me out for water sampling Thursday to begin introducing me to our lab’s sampling protocols. We collected one sample a site along the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge. This is something that I will be doing monthly once I begin work in January and is certainly something I will be writing at least one blog post about. I’ll admit, I’m very nervous about conducting water quality sampling due to my lack of prior experience, but I keep reminding myself that the reason I decided to go back to school in this field was to develop these skills. Oh and I finalized my first semester of classes, including watershed hydrology, biogeochemistry of wetlands and sediments, and a seminar on current hydrology topics.



Our first run together along the the Mississippi levee trail

And that’s a very brief summary of the past week or so for us. The one thing that I cannot emphasize enough is a thank you to both Meredith’s and my parents. This move would not have been as smooth and enjoyable as it was without you. Y’all are the best and we miss you already.




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