From Peers to Friends to Family

It’s later than I’m willing to admit in this blog and everyone is fast asleep here at the Gerace Research Center. For those who have come to know me, they will not be shocked that I’m still up. What is it that keeps me going on such little sleep? – The starry nights? The Bahamian breeze? – I’ve concluded that there must be something in that DRANK that keeps me going.

All jokes aside, our time in San Salvador is nearly coming to an end and I can’t help but reflect on our time here.

Dear Professor Laflamme,

If you see this, please note that your vision for a field course in the sciences has more than surpassed any of the expectations I had and I’m confident the rest of our utm290 class would agree. Your witty remarks, continual support and consistency has improved our ability as researchers in ways that we will only realize later in a careers in graduate school. Thank you for you commitment to excellence and your faith in second year undergraduate students. I hope we’ve made you proud.

Dear Professor Piunno,

If you see this, please note that although you can take the boy of out the lab you can never take the lab out of the boy! As a non-chemistry major, thank you for challenging our approach to field work and analysis. Your vision for an interdisciplinary research course has again come into fruition and I hope to see this course grow in the coming years just as airLAB continues to grow. Your sense of humour and guiding nature made our days in the field that much more enjoyable. And once more I’d like to thank you for your commitment to excellence and your faith in second years undergraduate students. I hope we’ve made you proud.

Dear Tanya,

Trip Mom? Marathoner? Athlete?  No one word can describe you completely; and I believe that is a testament to the many roles you’ve fulfilled on this trip. From our doctor to adviser, teammate to snorkel partner but most importantly from our supervisor to our friend it’s safe to say that this trip would have not been the same without you. Thank you for your continual support and guidance. You managed to find the right balance between being the trip mom and letting us explore and I truly appreciate that. Thank you for making our trip safer and of course for being such a pleasure to be around this past week. I’ll make sure to come by the library more often!

Dear Shaishav & Thomas (Team Natural Selection ft. Violins,

Buuuuuuudddies, where do I start guys? – It’s been a crazy week in all the best ways possible. We’ve laughed together, talked about our feelings together and drowned together all in the name of …. way for it …. FORAMS! Who would’ve thought that a single celled protist could bring us so close? It’s an honour to work alongside the both of you. Thank you continually challenging me to become a better researcher and for your significant contributions to the project. Moreover, thanks for your friendship. Beyond collecting a ton of sediment on this trip I think we gained something greater – a new bond. We’ve got a lot of work cut out for us once we get home, but I’m fully confident that we’l continue to spearhead all troubles that come our way. Go Forams!

Dear  Sarah, Hiba, Mishika, & Ayesha (Team Finding Nemo),

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriippppp. Sorry just had to get that one out of my system. Thanks for the influence Sarah. Joking aside, its been a pleasure to work alongside all of you talented people. Taking on such a unique project is fascinating.

Hiba- You’re a trooper, my friend. Overcoming your fears and swimming up to the coral; I’m so proud of you.

Sarah – You’re a rock, swimming countless hours in those choppy waters. I don’t know how you do it but I’m astounded by your  work ethic. I’m so proud of you.

Mishika – Although, you could hardly touch the ground at times, your contributions to the team were significant. It was so much fun swimming out to the reefs together. I’m so proud of you.

Ayesha – I had no idea that your were such a joker! Funny & smart aha. It was awesome going out to the quadrats together. I’m so proud of you.

Dear Agatha & Mercy (Team Water People|Team Shrek|Team Anchor Management?)

Your method of gathering your samples was so coordinated! It was fun to be apart of that … even if I nearly got stuck in the mud during the process. It’s been awesome to be able to work with you amazing people!

Agatha – I knew that behind your game face you were “lit” ! Aha. It’s been a pleasure working with you and the countless hours you put into the project shows. I’m so proud of you.

Mercy – Merce girl! (I’ll leave that to Sarah). Again, awesome project! I’m astounded by the amount of hours you can put into looking at sediment and maintain your chill sense of humour. I’m so proud of you.

 

All in all, there are too many memories to write about and no picture that could capture the many laughs, hugs and love within this bunch. This has hands down been the greatest experience of my undergraduate degree so far and I’m so thankful to have experienced with such amazing people.

I’m officially signing off, and I hope to see everyone at Karaoke!

 

With love,

 

Johnny

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