Monday, June 23, 2014

What is Time?

Today shall officially be the last day of having a bad night's sleep. I was awake finishing up the room descriptions for next year's ILCers at Brown. I was dazing off into a deep sleep, but I hesitated to give on them for the night until sleep took me away. I think I woke up a couple of times throughout the night as it was beginning to get breezy and cool from the fan, but I made it another couple hours of sleep before morning. The day began as I found an available shower and got ready to have breakfast for the first time with the cohort, with the exception of Kevin who I believe stayed in to sleep.

Breakfast at the Ratty was decent. It was actually a bit brief, as it was about 20 minutes before the Techniques in DNA-Based Biotechnology began. It was a warm morning and we walked over to the Biomedical Building with Jack, who was dropping us off before heading to the gym. I was pretty anxious, in a good way, by the time we made it inside. The lady at the front gave us some directions to our classroom, 291, and walked inside. We found a card with our names and picked us a syllabus and notebook as well. Walking into the class we saw completely new faces and found our way to some seats. We saw our professor, Jody Hall and assistant, Heidi and anxiously waited for the class to begin. Looking back, everything from the time we were accepted for the scholarship has led to this. This Techniques in DNA-Based Biotechnology class at Brown University as part of the Summer@Brown was finally here. It was time to bring it on and begin 3 incredible weeks of our lives. The entire class as there and, finally, Jody Hall (our professor) and Heidi (our class assistant) introduced themselves and followed up with the course syllabus. I couldn't focus on what was going on as I was eagerly examining the schedule and wondering what it was that we were going to do in the next three weeks.

After coming to my senses, I followed up with the protocols, procedures we'd have, and then moved on to review on Bio. Since these where the things that I studied prior to the interview, I had was pretty familiar with what was going on. We talked about the Central Dogma and the processes part of it, then touched on the older subject of mutations, and an alteration in the form of gene expression. For the most part, it was pretty basic review, though there was some more unfamiliar or more in-depth material. In between the class, we took time to write down something we are good at and made it to the smaller room for have an ice-breaker. We had to randomly draw a paper with the thing that the person is good and assume who it was. It was pretty fun finding out more about my classmates, especially learning that I have about 4 classmates who are also from the Bay Area. We continued with some more notes and before we knew it, we had our first test. It was a pre-test, to be specific, just to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses though. Having taken only freshman Biology I didn't understand much of the material, though I did find some questions to be familiar or just taught then in the review. I found myself very frustrated knowing that I didn't understand it, but later I realized that we all have our beginnings and that we only work our way up from there. You can say that that is somewhat my philosophy coming in as a biotechnology rookie and I look forward to come through with it.

Our classmates left as they finished their own pre-test and subsequently went up to meet Jing and Brandon after finishing the test myself. We had no ideas what was next. Like what is time? The entire day was pretty much free. We decided that we'd go get lunch at the V-Dub which was literally a 3-5 minute walk. I believe he chicken we had was the Cajun Chicken, but I could be wrong. It was actually pretty flavorful, which is nice when you have the usual dining hall food. Other than that, it was just about time to finish eating and move on the (unknown) next part of the day.

It was a pretty nice outside and other students were sitting out on the Main Green, so we decided it would be chill to just review on Chapter 2 (our homework) as well. I actually also decided I'd call home since it's been a while since, and spoke with my mom and nephew. It was a nice short talk and, unfortunately, I had to begin on the work. The first few minutes were quite uneasy as we tried to find a way to just settle without adjusting so much. At last, we decided that it wasn't working out and headed off to our dorms, where we were going to study independently instead. Shortly after I met up with Jack and gathered everyone for laundry. This was sort of a hassle since it was the first time we'd done laundry at Brown and since we got to Providence almost a week ago. The machines themselves weren't the best themselves but we managed. The wait was going to be around 40 minutes, so Jing decided she was going to go do her own thing, while Brandon, Jack, and I decided that we'd get some frozen yogurt at FroyoWorld. We each made our own cups and enjoyed ourselves the time we had.

At about 10 till the washing cycle's finish we walked out way back. Okay, so I laundry is boring, so I won't even both and will take a quick fast forward into later in the evening- dinner. We met up at our spot at the entrance and just as we were going to leave, we encountered good'ol Kevin! It was nice to see him after he'd been away from us for an incredibly long 2 days (since we separated int our "clusters" with our RAs). Dinner was fine. I had a burger with some potato salad and chicken breast on the side. I got full quickly and just as it was about to be 8 p.m., we returned since I had to meet with my cluster. Jing and I happened to head upstairs as we both needed to for the cluster activity there. Upstairs, we separated into our own groups. We were supposed to do a team-building activity but apparently our group was too large, so we just had some Domino's Pizza instead. I was pretty full, since I'd just had dinner, but I went at it for a slice anyway. The only announcement was that we pineapples had an RA who's going to be in tomorrow. We haven't met him yet, but I look forward to meeting him and seeing what cool things we pineapples (that was our artsy figure our names were on on our dorm doors) have in store.

It's just right about 11 right now but I need some catching up to do with Chapter 2. I'm going to do that and go to sleep, since tomorrow's another new day to come. I think there might be a dodgeball game too, which sounds fun, and might attend to. Today was a nice experiment with daily (pre)college life. I'm actually trying to work on my time management skills, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon. On an ending note, it's nice to finally be settled in. It's interesting to see that this is what we have in store for the next three weeks and that Summer@Brown has officially begun. Bon chance to us.

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