Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Flight Home Part II

Roughly six hours later and here I am in San Francisco! After a mad dash from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3, I got checked into my United Express flight to Redmond and it was running on time. I get back through the 20 minutes of Security (no x-rays here either) and check the board to find my flight has been delayed from departing at 12:49 to departing at 2:10. It puts me about an hour late into Redmond (unless we get some of the good headwinds we did NOT get coming from Charlotte). I'm so ready to be home! I'm also starving, but since I have some time now, I can go find some food.

Christmas Flight Home Part I

Wow. After a 90 minute drive, I made it to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport only to find that a)I had to wait for my San Fran-Redmond boarding pass and pick it up in San Fran and b)the $23 I had paid online for baggage last night wasn't showing up in the system. Luckily I had really nice people and they took care of the baggage by overriding it and letting me though. Still kind of bummed I have to pick up my boarding pass in San Fran, but at least I'm on my way. Then, after several people saying it would take 30+ min to get through Charlotte Security, it took all of 5 min because I knew what I was doing: rolly carry-on up, laptop out in separate tray, shoes, scarf, and coat in a second, backpack up, and through the metal detector (no fancy x-ray machines here yet). Everything repacked, backpack, shoes and scarf on, coat over one arm, boarding pass and rolly luggage in hand, then off to find my gate (B9). Grabbed a parfait and hot chocolate from Starbucks (thank you Vicky for the gift card!)

Now I'm just waiting to board my plane in about 15-20 min for a 6 hour flight to San Francisco. Longest domestic flight I've ever had. With a 2 hour layover in San Fran (estimated) I'll be back on eventually.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Today's the Day part 1

Today is my personal interview with Teach for America! So far it's been great, though a bit nerve wracking. I'm more of a listener so I didn't talk much during our group activity, but I had ton of fun teaching my lesson! I hope I do well in the next section, my actual one-on-one interview.  This morning I have been a 2nd grader learning about compound words, a 3rd grader learning timelines, a 4th grader learning paragraph structure, a 5th grader studying how things grow, an 8th grader correcting text messages, and a high school senior in calculus. As well as a 10th grade biology teacher. It's been a fun morning. It was a bit intimidating teaching an intro to the cell when one of the TFA candidates teaches at the University of Cincinnati Medical School.

I knew coming into this today that there was a second Berea student in our interview (Yelena) and they rode up with me, but I wasn't expecting a third! Jayla showed up and I was surprised!

Ready for the afternoon? I do hope so. And I hope Katie and Tori are enjoying themselves at the aquarium.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

HP! and more

Thanksgiving is coming up in just over a week. Just as importantly, though, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I comes out at 12:01 AM Friday morning and I will be there at the Richmond Cinamark with a ton of friends to see it. I may have to skip my first class to get enough sleep.

In other news, I had my Teach For America phone interview last Tuesday. It was nerve wracking and more that a bit awkward. I'm really nervous though and hoping I get a final interview. I'll find out on Wednesday if that happens or not. They say about 50% of people get to the final stage. Oy vey!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beyond Undergrad

This next week is going to be one of intense nerve wracking. I turned in my application for Teach For America today. Now I have to wait a week to see if I'm invited to a phone interview or not. I really want to do this!

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I'm going to do after I finish by time here at Berea. I've applied for TFA. I'm also looking at grad schools in education (Master's of Arts in Teaching for the exact degree). I'm trying to formulate back-up plans of what I could do should neither work out or I need a year off. This is going to take a lot of time and thinking...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Midterms have finally ended and classes are settling in for the second half of the semester. In most classes that means more readings, more memorization, more essays, etc. That goes for most of my classes, but thankfully some are taking a break in one way or another.

Today was the last hardcore lab in Parasitology for about 3 weeks when the tapeworms have fully matured in the rats. So the next few weeks we are working on our slide projects and taking it easy in lab. Lecture is a different story with us jumping straight into nematodes.

Cell and Molec has most of the basics down now in lab and so now it's time for the hard part, the actual tissue culture. I'm completely and utterly pumped about it though. I've been looking forward to this point all semester. Class is going to get more intense though, once Dr. Anderson gets better anyway. We don't have class tomorrow because she is stuck in bed kind of sick. This is the first time in the three classes I've had with her that she has flat out canceled class at the last minute. Normally its in the syllabus that we have no class because she is at a conference or something.

Japanese is picking up to with Kanji being incorporated into what we're learning now. @.@ This is going to be an adventure. I don't know if I want to take it next semester or not though because I would really like my lunch hour back. As it sits, I'll have class 8-10 AM (Evolution, the Bio major capstone), 11-12 (Developmental Biology), and 12-1 (Japanese II). But that's it except for work.

Chemistry is finally evening out and I'm remembering some of the material from the first time I took O-Chem II. It will pick back up soon, though, I'm sure. We're finished with our main labs though and we have started on our synthesis project.

Tai Chi is... Tai Chi. It hasn't really gotten any harder or easier but it's nice to go into class kind of sleepy and come out awake and ready-ish for chemistry.

Anyways, that's it for today. Nothing major is really going on.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mountain Day

Mountain Day is a tradition Berea's had for a long time. We get the day off from classes and labor (unless you're a poor soul is's labor is essential) and are encouraged to go out and play on the mountain. There is a sunrise hike, leaving campus at 6:30 AM, climbing in the dark, watching the sunrise as the choir sings. It's pretty awesome actually. I've only done the sunrise hike twice, this year and my freshman year. Very cool experience that any Berea student should experience.

After the hike up, and down, the mountain, there are booths, activities, and food back at Indian Fort, down at the bottom. All the Student Crafts are out, a lot of the departments have booths, and it's a lot of fun to grab some friends, some food (kettle corn and caramel apples anyone?), and then wander through the booths, enjoying nature and getting free stuff! I love Mountain Day! I can't believe it was my last one! >.< I'm going to miss it.

We have a similar day in April called Labor Day that is used to celebrate a year of work well done. Same kind of thing minus the mountain.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Mornings

Now, Sunday mornings typically aren't so bad. I'm not a church going person, so I sleep until 10 or 11, shower, through some laundry in, and head to lunch. But today... I still got to sleep until 10-ish and then the damn fire alarm went off. My dorm (Kettering) has the most sensitive fire alarm on campus. Everything will set it off - smoke (what it's supposed to go off at), hair or body spray, steam from the shower/cooking, hair dryers, room spray, it will probably go off if you breath wrong near it (if anyone tests that, I'm going to kill them personally.) It has gone of at every hour of the day though I luckily haven't been here for the ones at 2/3/4 in the morning.

Time to get ready for the day. Jaane!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursdays Suck

I know it's Friday, but Thursdays as a senior biology major at Berea can really suck. 3 hours of Cellular and Molecular Biology lab followed directly by 3 hours of Organic Chemistry II lab (that's no lunch/break in between normally), then convocation (if I go), and labor meeting. Luckily for me, Cell/Molec is a lot of doing somethings and waiting, doing things and waiting. This is good because it means we're often out of lab early and I get lunch before I go to Chem lab.

Speaking of Cell and Molec, a lot of people think that my professor/head of department is really hard and a mean teacher. She's not! Dr. A (that's Dr. Dawn Anderson) is a really awesome person that pushes and challenges her students because she cares. Yes, she's very picky about labs and who's in the lab area when. Can you blame her? The lab area we use is the Microbiology lab, probably the most dangerous biology lab room we have (think of all the chemicals, the bacteria, the very, very expensive equipment and materials). She has to know that who ever is in the lab, knows what they're doing and not being stupid about it. And it's microbiology and cell/molecular biology. Nothing in the lab can leave the lab because it could be dangerous! Like now, we're infecting E. coli with a chicken virus (Raus Sarcoma Virus to be exact) to inject into eukaryotic fibroblast cells to attempt to make the immortal. They can't leave the lab or tissue culture area. Students in her lower level classes or not in her classes at all, think she's mean and blunt and, frankly, a cold hearted woman. She's definitely not. Dr. A is good at what she does and really wants people to learn. If they would only stop complaining long enough to listen.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Beginning of the End... of Undergrad

Senior year is in full swing and the work is starting to pile on. It's hard being a senior biology major, but it will be worth it in the end. Classes currently include Organic Chemistry II, Parasitology, and Cell and Molecular Biology as well as Japanese I and Tai Chi. I enjoy most of my classes but there are some days I wish I could just curl up in my bed and not leave. I've made lots of friends during my time at Berea though and I'm glad I came.