For us Sustainable Bioenergy REU students (we have taken to calling ourselves the squad), today can be seen as our first real day of work for the summer, as there are no group activities, meetings, or other events scheduled to break up the workday. It’s just each of us facing our 9-to-5 day of labor on our own. I’m still caught up in reading a ginormous list of economic scientific articles, which are supposed to provide me with some background knowledge on my summer project (though I’m still not quite sure what that project is). I’ll be meeting up with my faculty mentor later today, and my goal is to emerge from that meeting with a specific grasp on the topic of my research.
That’s pretty much all that has been going on in terms of my work so far (then again, it’s only been a week since I even arrived). The squad of ten Sustainable Bioenergy undergrads has been spending a pretty solid majority of our time together and I’d like to think that this is the beginning of a pretty solid group relationship that will add a lot of fun to the next two months.
Some of our favorite group activities so far include but are not limited to: eating every single meal together in “The Derb” (the dining hall); playing Frisbee; exploring Aggieville, a small area just down the street from the K-State campus where students go to shop, eat, and party; watching funny movies; playing card games; and driving around in the squad van with Keith (the director of the Sustainability REU, and also the Squad Leader).
Update: I just got out of a meeting with my faculty advisor and I now have a project! Basically (and this is a very simplified version) I’ll be studying the way that changes in oil prices affect the success of the adoption of biofuels. My advisor, Dr. Vincent, is very friendly and outgoing, and he seems like a pretty cool guy to be working for the summer. My mini-project for the night is to type up a quick overview of the background information, the problem definition, and the objectives of my project, so I’m going to cut this post a little short so I can get to work. I can’t wait to jump in, and of course, to tell you guys all about it!
I’m sending lots of love,