I'll start today off with the lab. We're going to be working with plasmid vectors and will be introducing modified DNA for ampicillin and kanamycin resistance. We're supposed to apply this to bacteria that we're supposed to grow on these certain plates called culture plates. It's something similar to when you see those commercials regarding germ killing and disinfecting and all. It's actually a three day process so today we just got to practice sterile technique, combining a couple different liquids, and centrifuging them. Again, I was the last in class to finish, since I tend to be very cautious and try to be certain of what I'm doing. At the end of class, though my American Red Cross shirt stood out to both Jody and Heidi (the assistant). It reads, "Live a story. Give a story." I told them about what I did back at school as far as working with the Richmond High Red Cross Club I ended up speaking more with Jody, who was more available to chat for a while, and went on and about with other school plans and shared our personal educational stories. She helped me realize that it was a lot I have on my plate for next year, but also that sometimes that's the way we find our capabilities and limits. Talking with her also helped me realize that we're not always going to be consistent throughout the years and that eventually we'll have our faults and drops, but that we just have to pick ourselves up and just keep moving on. She also touched a bit on life and just exploring what there is out there with the ultimate goal of being happy with yourself and with what you do. Her words sunk in and now that I think about it, it's going to be another year (that I somewhat look forward to) and another journey for me; hopefully one in which I'll achieve greater, grow more, and find myself [more].
The group headed out to eat while I was having that really nice talk with Jody, but still, I got some Antonio's (pizza) for lunch, since that was the plan. I took it to go and ate in my dorm. It was much hotter and humid today than other days, so I made sure i had the fan blasted at full speed facing towards me. After having some deliciousness, I chilled out for a while (actually, first I decided I would not get any vegetarian pizza again, 'cause I realized i can't stand not having some kind of protein on my pizza). Anyway, I chilled out for a while and enjoyed watching Youtube videos, not much for that part of the day to say the least. The only thing I was excited for was hanging out with Lupe and her friends and sharing experiences both before and during Brown.
Due to the sweat-provoking and skin-irritating heat, I took a quick shower right before heading out to Lupe's. I got ready quickly and made my way to her place,about 5 minutes away from Keeney. There, I received a warm welcoming from her. She invited me upstairs to see who else was in. I saw familiar faces- it was Evelyn and Lytisha from the dinner, only this time, we were having a more casual and friendly talk. Kevin, their RA also came and tagged along. The first thing we did was have some of Lupe's promised pozole and it was delicious, especially for her time time making it. Another first was that Evelyn had never tried it prior to today, so that alone was pretty cool. We talked a bit about the transition from West Coast to East Coast and academic challenges. Instead of hearing the same things that I was able to learn from the past dinners, this dinner with everyone was more personal, so it felt much more nice and comfortable to be a part of. I can safely say that I genuinely enjoyed spending time with them. In fact, being a high school school student (age difference) made no difference in the way I felt around them. To say the least, it was a very laid back,friendly, and funny dinner. Unfortunately, Evelyn and Kevin had to go, but Lupe, Lytisha, and another housemate who arrived were still there to make more conversation. I learned about other things to do outside of Brown and in Providence, such as beaches, parks, events, communities, food, and even heard there's at least some nightlife. Dinner part 2 took its place as more and more housemates arrived and sat down at the table to have some pork one of the housemates made. It wasn't too long by then that I had my last bite and decided I'd come back to my dorm. Lupe did such a fantastic job being very friendly and approachable. We were even able to slip some Spanish into the day, which was refreshing. In the end, though, she offered her help in any way that she could help, whether it's from talking, going out to eat, or just hanging around. It's really nice to have that bond from someone from the same city and school and just knowing that people are there to back you up.
In any case, I headed back home, realizing I forgot my jacket there, but that's the least of matters. I'm here finishing up this blog, thinking not too much other than aiming for a good night's sleep, as tomorrow will be another lab day! Hopefully, I'm more accurate in my procedures, but if not, I'll still be glad that I took my time not to rush while doing things correctly. I have yet to finalize my decision on which topic I'm going to be doing my gene therapy on, but hopefully I'll get some good time with Jody discussing my options with eczema and/or another better candidate for gene therapy. Hopefully, I can finalize my decision tomorrow and get going with the project, as it is our final. Things seem steady and chill, but we'll see what this second half of the program has to bring. It's all positive vibes from here one, though, or at least that's the goal! All seems pretty great, though, and on that note, goodnight!