Today was a super average Wednesday. Writing out my day is something that I haven’t done in a long time, but it’s actually a really cool way to wind down for me. So I thought I’d literally just walk you through what I was up to on this super cloudy, uneventful Wednesday!
I woke up at 11.
That’s probably the best part of college in general. People will complain about 9am’s, sure, but I genuinely don’t understand how I was sitting in my 1st period class at 7:21 am in high school. Granted, Wednesdays for me are especially nice. I usually try to get up way earlier than that, but I’m at the tail end of a cold, everything’s all congested and gross, and I figured (largely in my sleep) that the world would be okay with me sleeping in a few hours. So I did.
I got ready, put on my boots after hearing the rain outside, and locked the door for my apartment. I got to Biochem at 12:02, found my suitemate Ajay, and sat down. Today, we learned about PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to amplify DNA, and the regulation of gene expression in bacteria and eukaryotes through primers and operons. I’m pretty sure.
After Biochem, I had 10 minutes to walk into Gilman Hall, which is arguably my favorite building on campus, and unarguably others’. At 1:30, my class Science & Technology in Slave Regimes started. It’s a small class with about 10 of us and two amazing professors, and looks at the ways science and technology developed in the Antebellum South, Cuba, and Brazil. Today was presentation day. For the last couple of weeks, we’d been working on our final theses, and while the paper itself is due in a little under a month, we had to present to the class what we’d been up to. My research focuses on slave midwives in Antebellum South plantations and the ways in which they negotiated with trained physicians for their roles in the routes of medical treatment of slaves. After each presentation, we would open the floor up to questions and have solid discussions that would help our research both ways.
After class, I headed home. On the way, I stopped by Subway. Whole wheat 12′ with mozzarella, spinach, sweet peppers, mushrooms, and olives. That’s my sustenance. From there, I crossed the street into my apartment building, unlocked my door, and threw my things on my bed. I opened up Youtube and consumed my sandwich. I spent the next 2 and a half hours doing a mixture of nothing and starting my lab report. It’s for a class I’m taking called Protein Engineering and Biochemistry lab (PEBL, pronounced /pebble/), and we’ve been spending the semester creating a novel mutation to an important and well-studied endonuclease, synthesizing the protein, purifying it, and now testing how that mutation has altered the properties and function of the enzyme. While lab classes can get exhausting, it’s actually so cool to know that you’re studying something that has literally never been done before.
At 7, I grabbed my umbrella, made some coffee in my Keurig, and headed over to Mudd Hall. I’m a teaching assistant for The Nervous System, a rite-of-passage kind of class in the Neuro department, and they have a quiz tomorrow. So the other 3 TA’s and I decided that we should hold a review session tonight to help clarify and answer any lingering questions they might have for tomorrow. We’re working through the visual system right now, which I would have to admit is one of the harder systems to tackle. But the review session was a lot of fun, and everyone had really, really good questions, which was promising. TA’ing has been insanely rewarding this semester, because it’s gotten me to go back and really solidify the basis of neuroscience that I was exposed to when I actually took the course last year. Now, with this second wash, it’s really starting to stick in my head, which I think will be really valuable in the future. And, I mean, it’s just so much fun.
By 9ish, I was back in my apartment. I spent the next hour or so getting started on this blog thing and catching up on some emails for the day. And more Youtube. And for like half an hour, my suitemates and I all sat in the living room doing nothing together, because that’s very, very important.
At 11, my MCAT class started. I’ve signed up to take the MCATs in January, and so I’ve also registered for an online course that meets every night to go over content and do practice problems. It’s been really helpful so far in keeping me disciplined to consistently study throughout the semester. Today, we went over the endocrine system for Biology and social/group concepts for Psych/Sociology. The class ended at 1am, which is where I’m at right now, eating popcorn and Club crackers. After I finish these few sentences, I’m going to fill out a couple of Doodle polls, brush, and dive in bed.