“It’s a JUNGLE out there…”



A former undergraduate professor said those words to my classmates and I while we talked about being a student, and our “anxieties” after graduation. He said to us “Well, you are all unique in your own ways, some get high grades, some don’t, but it doesn’t really matter anyway. When you leave from this university, you will need to find yourself on your own, because it’s a jungle out there…” The line got stuck in my mind, and over time, since 2002, I realized it’s true, at least for me. I am always reminded of these words every time I make decisions to deal on various situations (= jungle).

This year, I am out in the jungle, again. With a Fulbright grant, it was a long hop for me from the southern Philippines, (hop, hop, and away) to the jungle of the University of Oklahoma (OU) in Norman, Oklahoma!

As I started to settle in, my host professor, Dr. Cameron Siler and his awesome colleagues and students, have all been efficient in many situations we dealt together. These include providing me a nice office where I can concentrate working on my research, patiently taking me to shopping for food and the like, and most importantly, they make sure I am safe, comfortable and happy.


It’s huge and comfortable.

The day after I arrived, I was privileged to join in on the OU Department of Biology’s annual faculty retreat. What I admired most from that retreat was the department’s strong sense of camaraderie among its faculty and graduate students in achieving departmental goals in research, and having fun while doing it. The four-day retreat was packed with scientific and fun activities over American food and drinks!

I was warmly welcomed with my first OU shirt from the department. It made me smile and felt that this jungle is just like home.

Following my continuing adventures in Blog #2