Realities of Grad School

Lightly comical yet so fuhreakin’ true, especially the bit about our perception of science when we were young versus when we actually dive into it.

It’s not easy being a postgraduate student. Sure, there’s an intellectual challenge and the motivation that comes from doing work you’re genuinely interested in, at least most of the time. But there’s also a lot of poverty, difficulty adjusting to studying in a new environment, loneliness and worry about thefuture. We wish we could solve these problems….but HOW?


Riding on the Green Bandwagon

It is definitely no surprise that the “go green” idea is becoming increasingly more ubiquitous. And for good reason too. With an ever growing global population compounded by an insatiable need for basic resources (namely, food) and for energy to increase the quality of our lives, we need to figure out how we will live in order to be sustainable beings on…ONE earth, not multiple ones.

I mean, come on. I’m a vegetarian, a recycler, a carpooler, and a walker (most of the times). I even do research on solar cells in an idealized attempt to contribute to researching and developing alternative energy. You can almost always count on me to turn off unused lights, computers, TV sets, and other appliances. If anything, you’d think that these lifestyle habits are enough to designate me as a pretty green person. Yet, according to an online carbon footprint quiz, if everyone lives the way that I currently do, we’d need 2.9 earths!!! What about everyone else who lives in developed countries, like the U.S.? Five earths or more would probably be needed to accomodate everyone…and we’d be pretty much screwed.

Suddenly, images from Wall.E don’t seem so farfetched anymore. -_- I can’t help but be disappointed at myself. Evidently, there are more ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint, and that means more changes on my part. For me to reduce my ecological impact, I’d not only have to give up on living in a house and not driving a car, but I’d also need to recycle even MORE products and purchase more locally grown food products. That means taking more public transportation (more researching on bus/train schedules), biking (I can’t even remember the last time I biked), or purchasing a hybrid vehicle (another instance that reminds us that money just doesn’t grow on trees). In terms of living conditions, I’d need to figure out ways to convince my parents to install solar panels and energy-saving materials for our current home..or move into the apartments. I can already tell that the latter idea will not bode well with my mom. As for recycling, I need to become more educated on what can and cannot be recycled and more importantly…where. It seems possible that I can reduce my footprint on earth if I make the effort. *sigh*

As a voracious reader and subscriber of environmental/green news, I’ve managed to dig up a few sites, courtesy of EcoGeek, The Green Guide, EcoRazzi, and Good Magazine. They are my knights in shining armor. *_*

[ Earth 911 ] : A great reference site for you to look up your nearest recycling location, simply by typing in your zip code or item you want to recycle.

[ Green Wikia ] : Al Gore’s dream has come true, courtesy of Wales! Yet, somehow…I feel that Wikipedia decided to launch this component waaaaay too late in the game and suggests of a greenwashing (company putting a green spin on a particular product) effort. We’ll see how this goes.

[ Good – The Economy ] : The themes presented aren’t anything new to the green scene, but the video serves as a reminder of what we are and will face if we don’t end our fatal affair with oil. The effects extend beyond the realm of the environment and has drawbacks on our employment rate, food prices, etc.

[ CO2 World ] : Good Magazine creators obviously spent a lot of time laying out this carbon footprint analysis of the world. It’s worth a look…and read.