Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adjusting to College Life

This past week has felt unlike any other. I remember looking at my calendar very so often and thinking that the day for departure would soon come. Time works its magic, though, and now, it's one week later. I can't believe how long it felt, to be honest. There was so much done from all the transportation, college tours, and dinners. Now it's simply time to get used to the college life. These past few days have been pretty laid back for me and I have yet to figure out how I am going to spend them.

Morning started off as usual. The difference is that these past two days the water has been cold, so you can imagine how pleasant showers have been... As always, breakfast was a must and then went to class with my DNA group. The class discussion was focused on the lab and protocol done yesterday, as we questioned how DNA is precipitated when mixed with ethanol. We learned that the heating of DNA breaks hydrogen bonds, unwinding both strands of DNA ("denaturing" it) and that cooling it binds the original two strands of it back together. A bit further into this is that slowly cooling it allows for the DNA to reconstitute appropriately to the way it was in the beginning, however, rapid cooling doesn't allow the DNA strands to match up accordingly. Furthermore, we learned that DNAse, an enzyme, cuts up DNA into smaller and smaller  pieces. The end result of experimenting, due to all of the different circumstances, led to many different ways that the DNA ended up looking (which was essentially the vials with DNA looking cloudy in their own unique way).

We had a simulation during the class as well, which was examining a DNA sequence and figuring out the introns, exons, start sites of transcription, and faults in DNA which cause disease. I was working with my classmate, Sanika, and were able to get the hang of it though it was fairly difficult to understand. Class proceeded with a quiz about some of the material and lab-related questions as well as a part in which we had to remember our classmate's names. After that, it was time for lunch.

Brandon, Jing, and I headed out to the V-dub for lunch and took a walk to CVS for some quick pick-ups. I decided we'd might as well look around so we walked into a couple local stores here and there, not really in search of anything but some time to enjoy and explore Thayer Street. Jing also suggested we'd check out the Science Library (Sci-Li), so we also checked it out. Brandon decided he'd head to the dorm though, while Jing and I went up to explore. I lost her once I got to the 4th floor and stayed to read a really interesting magazine about astronomy. I was fascinated by myself that I'd got lost in time reading it, rather than just skimming through the pictures. Ultimately, I made it up the flight of stairs (I started at the stairs, so I stuck with it, even though there was an elevator. It makes this more unique that way) and came across a partial view of the campus and the Providence River. I ended up having some me time exploring many of the 16 floors of the Sci-Li, which is something you don't really get the opportunity to do, especially when you're not from around here. Getting up the stairs, passing through the aisles of books, and seeing a greater view was awesome, but unfortunately I had to make it back down and make it to my dorm where I just knocked out for a while.

I woke up super tired and very sleepy, but I realized I had only about 15 minutes to get to the Ratty before it'd close. There, I had three chicken breasts (need that protein) and some fried which I found to be probably some of the best fries I've had. I had a banana and some water but shortly after got back to my room. I'd gotten a mix of music to play and had some some fun me time dancing to some songs (today was Bachata), something that I kind of do at home.. (shhhhh).

After another super long day I find myself sitting in my bed writing this blog, thinking about the day and just making the most of this experience. I have about two weeks to go and I have yet to learn and do lots more here at Brown. So far, the entire trip has been an amazing experience and I only fear that these next two weeks will go by as fast this past one. On that note, I'm going to do some reading, officially meet with our cluster and new RA (which should be cool), and finally rest up. On to the next day!


  1. Arnold, I won't tell anyone about your exclusive dance party haha. Sounds like you are enjoying your time and finding positivity in every moment. I am proud of you for this.

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