That title was used in a movie to describe the hope that springs eternal at the start of a new baseball season and it has always stuck with me. Perhaps it comes from growing up in Cleveland, Ohio a city famous (until recently) for middling sports performance. And yet, every year, that first day of the season possesses a certain magic. The idea that this is the year, this is the year that it all comes together. On the first day of the season, teams and fan bases alike truly believes that they are headed to the World Series. That is the beauty of a season of promise, not yet touched by disappointment or shortcomings.
You might find it odd to be talking about the start of baseball season as the leaves are starting to change colors and falls cool morning are upon us and as pennant races are all but settled. Or for this subject to appear on a graduate student marine science blog, however for students all over the country strapping on their backpacks, the fall carries with it a spring sense of rebirth.
Here at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories this spirit is upon us once again. For the newest cohort, it is perhaps most obvious. They have come from all over the world to start their graduate work in marine science. It is an exciting time filled with promise. Some have come straight from the undergraduate programs and others have come from internships and full-time jobs. Yet they all carry with them the promise of a life remade by the commitment of time and energy they are about to dedicate to studying the earth’s ocean environs. For all of us Moss Landing marks the beginning of our careers as marine scientists. For the returning students, fresh off a summer mired in thesis work, the fall is also a time for shifting gears and buckling down to accomplish a new task. Our data collection has wrapped up, and now it is time to analyze what we’ve done in the field, and coalesce that into a polished, cogent work of science.
For me, it is my last fall here at the labs. And as my emerging crow’s feet and increasing waistline elicit a fall spirit, I am once again gripped by the promise that this new school year holds. Now the labors of 4 years come to fruition as I prepare to defend my thesis. At the same time I am planning for a life outside these walls, (as tough as giving up my office view will be), as critical a component of one’s graduate work as defending it.
And so to the new cohort joining our ranks I bid you welcome, and best wishes as you begin this new chapter. To those of you returning from a summer spent fleshing out thesis projects I wish you happy hunting as you progress. Finally to my fellow fall defenders I wish you happy resolutions and fond memories as you put the finishing touches on this chapter and start the next. May this truly be a season of perfection.