Carving Out Time: Spring Semester

Academic “spring” may begin at the start of the semester in January, but March is always an exciting time as true spring is just around the corner (spring equinox, holla). This period of time can get very busy for graduate students. It’s tempting to get ALL THE THINGS done before summer hits: comprehensive exams, getting out that manuscript, and that other manuscript, securing summer field work or internships, and a whole slew of other goals. Keeping track of everything we hope to get done means a litany of lists. Both of us love to make lists, lists for groceries, packing, what needs to be done around the house, around the office, lists of code to run when it finally works, lists of things that could be wrong with our R code, all the lists. One of our favorite lists has got to be the List of Fun Way to Relax After Finishing a Thing. It’s very tempting to put off a lot of things while you’re hyper focused on an academic goal, but we think it’s important to carve out time for at least some of the fun things along the way. We also always love hearing how others deal with the constant work-life compromise struggle and warding off burnout.

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Love Letters and Salutations

Day Three

Carlsbad Caverns to Albuquerque
Total Miles Hiked: 3.1 (14.6 Overall)

Driving days can be a nice reprieve from the long hiking days in the sun, but there’s a limited amount of adventure you can have when in a car for six hours. Rachel and I both have thesis related work to make progress on and that takes up a fair deal of time. However, we also absolutely love to write postcards. We try and buy a few at each park gift shop we stop at, as well as some pit stops along the road. Roswell, NM was a prime post card purchasing location. Pretty much everyone who provides an address will get at least one during the trip!

Postcards ready to be sent out!

If you would like to be added to our writing list and know us personally, feel free to send us Facebook messages with your snail mail addresses!

If you are a lovely blog reader and would still like a postcard from either Rachel, myself, or both please shoot us an email with your address to

We also take requests and will write a pretty haiku just for you!


EDIT: Errmehgrrrd! We rudely forgot to mention our gracious host, Chelsea, for taking care of us in ABQ. We got a little spoiled being allowed to shower, feed, and do laundry after just one park. Chelsea provided us with a fine Chana masala dinner and bagel/fruit breakfast that we’ve yet to top. Many thanks to her and we hope to see her guest star again on our trip!

“Doesn’t happen very often, and sometimes it takes a while, but occasionally a meme will change my life.” CEB

Question of the Day:
Do you still send snail mail?