Thursday, August 18, 2011

Last fortnight

My last two weeks will be a bustle of data analysis, report writing, and presentations. Yes, I said my last two weeks. I know there have been some rumors floating around that I might stay, but I'm both pleased and disappointed to announce that I'll be returning to Arkansas this fall for my Capstone work. Both options were equally exciting and ultimately I decided it was time to get back and keep laying the foundations for a life of service in natural resource management and environmental protection in the Natural State.

One of the things I'd like to do when I get back is give a series of presentations to some key groups who may benefit from hearing about what's going on in the Murray-Darling Basin. I'd also plan to connect key lessons learned to Arkansas's state water planning process. The point of these presentations would be two-fold: to impart information and get people thinking about alternative modes of operation, and to allow me to continue conquering my fear of public speaking. Sometimes you just have to throw yourself in the deep end. Talking about subjects you're passionate about seems like a good first step.

I've been reminding myself daily to be FRANK AND FEARLESS-- a phrase that's thrown around a lot in the Australian public service. I've also been considering exactly how frank and fearless I can be without getting myself fired or seeing my career plateau because I'm seen as too much of a risk. Not that I have a career yet, but I imagine it's in the cards somewhere down the road ;)

Speaking of the future, the Dean emailed last week to remind us that although graduation is a year away, now is the time to start thinking about post-grad education and job applications. I have been really pleased with the cross-breed of action and theory the Clinton School has introduced me to and in a way I'm curious whether there are any PhD programs that value action and field experience in the same way. Perhaps Applied Anthropology? If I went on to a PhD, it would need to be VERY hands-on. None of that armchair philosophizing for me!

Alright, off to hike the Carnarvon Gorge and spy on platypuses for the weekend.

P.S. I love the continuing use of the word "fortnight" in conversation here. What a useful noun!

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