The Land of Cotton

A surprise for Daphne!
Top of the mornin'! At least to my Californian peeps.

I woke up with really awesome curly hair, ate a delicious breakfast, and headed out to do some shopping. I went to a nice art gallery, the bookstore, and to a boutique where I got Daphne Kate a fun little something. I got myself a shot glass covered in tiger prints. Meow.

Now I have settled back in my suite until my meeting with the associate dean of the college of human science. Exciting!

So yesterday was a lot of fun. I met with three faculty members I'd love to work with. All of them are interested in me, and one told me he was blown away by my application! These professors know my professors at UC Davis and/or the U. To give you an idea of what I'd be doing here... If I worked with A, I could look at romantic relationships and sexual behavior during adolescence cross-culturally. He has data from Switzerland, the Republic of Georgia, a couple of other countries and, of course, in the US. Lots of his grad students use data from the Ad Health study (a really cool, famous, huge longitudinal study).

G has done some things with life course theory, which is why I originally decided to meet with him. However, he's doing some really exciting things looking at psychological adjustment and a few other things by type of dating behavior. We talked about my thesis, where I decided to make three groups of teens -- not dating at all, casually dating, or involved in a serious relationship. Most of the research I've read on body dissatisfaction has only had two types of dating. Well, in his longitudinal study (CDP, FYI), for one paper they made six or seven groups of daters based on number and length of their dating relationships. So we talked about that for a while and he inquired about my knowledge of methods. It seems like I'd be able to work with him right off the bat. He has told me he'd be able to support me as a research assistant! Cool beans. Also, he's doing a symposium in Montreal with a prof I'm close to at Davis. I will be attending that!

I met with the head of the department who knows the prof who wrote me a letter from Utah and one of my letter writers from UC Davis. I mostly got a feel for the economic issues at Auburn (it's not as bad as the UCs) as well as general things about the department. I also got some bad news... I will probably have to repeat a good amount of my coursework. So that's a pretty huge downside, as I am ready to start focusing on research. I'm tired of classes. Anyway.

I then met with the prof, J, who will definitely be supporting me my first year. She's fantastic. If I worked with her I'd first be working on evaluating relationship curriculum in high schools and junior high. Then I could continue working on that or start working on a project looking at attachment and identity in young engaged and newlywed couples. They're thinking about adding some bio instruments (cortisol from spit, heart rate monitors, etc). SO cool. :-D

So here's how things are shaking out so far. Auburn has more researchers doing things that are exactly what I want to do. At UC Davis, I'd have to be a little more creative about doing what I want to do. BUT! there are several projects that will work for me at Davis. So, on that note, Auburn wins. Location is an issue. I'll have to buy a car if I come here and the flight from Salt Lake to Atlanta is long. To get home will take me a day. From Davis, it only takes a few hours. Auburn the town is very nice and very similar to Davis, which is good news (I was afraid there would be more... rednecks). But the location isn't great.

Another downside to coming here is having to move across the country. We're talking a long distance. Over 2000 miles. And getting a new apartment, furnishing said apartment, finding the milk in the grocery store. Buying a car. Blah. I don't care for automobiles. And then there's just a fact that I live in the best place in the United States. I'm pleasantly surprised by Auburn but... damn, I love Northern California.

I have until April 15 to make my decision. I think I know which way I'm going, but I'm definitely going to take a few weeks to think though everything. It's exciting stuff! But nerve wracking to think that this decision is going to really, really affect my life. Every silver lining has a cloud, right?

2 remarks:

Caitlin said...

Oh Natalie, I loved reading about your day! I know whichever decision you make will end up being the right one. After all, you were contemplating the U vs. Davis and Davis became a perfect fit for you.

Kayla said...

K so I guess I'm behind the times, because I thought you already decided to go to Auburn. I must not be reading your blog close enough. I will up my stalker status accordingly.