The most important thing that I have learned during my time at Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) is just how important setting a schedule and sticking to it is. Because I was working so independently on my project I was fully responsible for the timeline and pace that I was working at. As someone who is used to having timelines fully set up by school or work this was a big change and it definitely took me a few weeks to get settled into but now I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of how I spend my time to make sure that I am getting everything done in a timely manner. I have also gotten to learn about grad school and the various career paths in environmental science that I hadn’t really had much exposure to before this summer. Getting to meet and talk to so many different people that all got where they are by taking so many different paths definitely really opened up my view of how I can get to the career that I want in a variety of different ways.
One of the most surprising things about working at HRAP is that everyone has an opinion on education. Every time I talk to someone about my project whether they work in education or not, they always seem to have some sort of feedback or information about educational techniques or what they would want to see. Initially I was really surprised that everyone had so much to say but then I realized that every single person is a stakeholder in education. We all go to school and then people send their kids to schools so it is actually not surprising to see that everyone cares about how we are teaching kids. This also reframed the way that I thought of education as a much broader part of our daily lives.
I think that if I could redo this summer the only thing I would do differently is to incorporate more interviews into my project. I only ended up doing two interviews with teachers but I feel like they both had really valuable input and having the chance to talk to more teachers would’ve given me a different perspective that would have strengthened my overall project.