I personally have tried to be well rounded by being the best student I can be, but also by having my hands in everything from Greek related events to making connections with the staff at my school, and now here at UW-Stout. Last week I was lucky enough to go out with the sociology group, in particular with Josh since we were able to split the groups because of my car. It was a nice experience to get back into the field, but this time not in the creeks or trapped in a cold lab. I enjoyed talking to the a fair amount of farmers, with one even letting us crank start his Model-T!! I learned a good bit from what the farmers had to say about their land, instead of learning about BMP (Best Management Practices) at my school. This knowledge is useful towards my project because we are looking at the phosphorous in creeks and its nice to hear from part of the source of phosphorous that I am studying this summer. Another thing I learned was that the Sociologists usually don't get the luck we did with catching farmers at the exact time before they went to another field or took a break. Normally from what I was told is that they just get turned down, which makes it hard to get data; something us Natural Science kids don't deal with because our biggest problem is weather. The other interdisciplinary activities I have gained is stuffing letters for surveys, which I have done with economists and Sociologists. It is long and hard work but its one of the ways that they can get data, and since they are shipping suitcases full of letters then I will be happy to help. Plus I have realized I am a letter packing machine!
From letter packing and interviewing to a cold lab and some creeks, this REU program has given me and will keep given me an experience that will allow me to keep rounding myself out and becoming a better and more educated person. I advise that everyone takes some part in an interdisciplinary life style at least once in their life.