The Catch Up: zoo tour, dissertation hand-in & a very boisterous Beagle

Greetings, friends! I’ve not done a personal catch up in a while, so I figured I’d whip one up to get you all up to speed on why I’ve been missing for long while. It’s been a busy term at University for me, it’s my final year and I’m just getting to the crunch point where assignments are due in, revision should be starting and lectures are coming to an end. It’s these assignments that have been sapping most of my time – I’ve already handed three in, and one of them was my dissertation.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of writing one, it’s basically an extended assignment that usually reserved for your final year, and for me it was worth the equivalent of two modules. I’d decided to do an experimental based study, looking at how the design of zoo enclosures can affect how visitors see the welfare of the animals within. As animal welfare is a subject that’s close to my heart (and my brain), it’s been my most enjoyable piece of work – but also my longest!  Although I’d spaced my workload out pretty evenly over the year, as the deadline day drew nearer I still ended up spending a lot of late nights in the library trying to figure out error bars and how to reduce my usage of the word ‘furthermore’.

Savannah, crouched on a bridge smiling with her dissertation.

However, I did manage to get it all done and submitted and so it is completely out of my brain until results day, and so now on to my next adventure: zoo tour! As part of one of my modules, Zoo Animal Science, there’s a residential field trip in which we travel around and visit five zoos in five days and get a variety of lectures and experiences from the staff at each. Luckily, this fell two days after dissertation hand in, and so presented itself as the perfect celebration .This year saw NTU Zoo Biology venture all the way to Devon, where we set up a base in Paignton and travelled out each day. Luckily, the weather stayed dry for us and even a little bit warm – there was definitely a day that I felt actual warmth coming from the sun. I’ll do a bigger write up of it complete with pictures when I can find time to go through them all, but in essence, it was an amazing, exhausting, and informative week that I’ll definitely remember for a long while, even if it is because I’ll post about ten pictures of the same red panda every day for the next year.

Okay, so now on to the cute part – the very boisterous Beagle. I’d like you to meet Oscar, my other half’s newest addition:

Oscar the beagle puppy laying on a cushion

I’m sure you can see why I have been distracted. Every spare moment of my time has been spent inhaling sweet puppy smell, wiping dog spit off of my limbs, walking round the garden whispering ‘wee wee!’ or investigating which off-limits area he’s gotten into this time. He’s even come to my University campus a few times for some extra attention and to sniff out every single critter trace in existence.

There’s also been a few other contributing factors that have extended my radio silence, but they’re significantly less exciting. It’s been a tough couple of months both financially and mentally too, both of which have meant that I’ve not really been in a writing mood. My car insurance and tax decimated my meagre balance, which then took another blow when my MOT came around. Add on my usual travelling expenses and low availability of work hours.. you get the idea. Everything happening at once took its toll on my little brain. But, I’m still here and still keeping on, so hopefully things will feel a little lighter soon. I guess we’ll find out!




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