Wednesday, June 23, 2010

unfolding fans

I'm convinced that I might indeed be the world's worst blogger. I just don't ever know what to 'blog' about. I feel like I've tried to start some themes before, but it never quite sticks. Anyway, I'm sure you're wondering what I've been doing with myself these first few weeks of my new life. Here it goes:

First and foremost I spend time in the lab. At least 7 hours a day. Currently I'm attempting to optimize a few protocols for the cells and protein we're working with. It's a little slow going so far. I've been working with another student who just finished his first year exams, but neither one of us really knows what we are doing. And we really don't get a lot of direction from our 'mentor', so we just blunder along. Which is probably better in the long run, because we have already made a bazillion we're learning, right? I think so.

I don't drive. On average (at least for the past three weeks) I've only driven about twice a week. I'm trying to bike/walk everywhere. Which has had some funny moments so far, like when I crashed my bike on the street and I thought no one saw me, until a few minutes later when this older gentleman came to check on me because he thought I had seriously injured myself (fyi, I had not). He offered to fix my bike too, but it was fine. Given the recent heat waves that seem to have settled over all of Missouri, I inevitably sweat all day too. It's nearly impossible to walk even a few blocks without being drenched. Gross.

I've been watching the World Cup. I've never seen the World Cup games before, but I started watching this year. And I'm hooked, for better or worse. The fans are so enthusiastic and I love their outfits. MU's been showing the games on a big screen in the union and it's fun to sit and watch with all of the international kids. Watching the games is also a great reason to have a beer early in the day (only for the weekend games...).

Last weekend I went home and went to my first bachelorette party at a Cardinals game (I think there is a new sports theme to my life). It was basically a blast.

All I can really say is that I'm having fun. I'm learning about life and living it on my own and being a graduate student and budgeting. It's weird. But I think I'm liking it.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Blerg. It's been a while. I find it so intimidating to try and update when it’s been so long.

I have been a resident of Columbia for over a week now. I’ve been in the lab for one week. That doesn’t seem possible. I still kind of feel like in a few weeks I’ll be heading home or something, like this is just temporary. It hasn’t sunk in that this is [semi]-permanent.

I like being in a ‘real’ college town so far. I like that nearly everyone I meet is a student of some sort, coffee shops stay open late, and there is a plethora of great food and beer. That all makes for one happy girl. I don’t have cable or internet and that has been a little hard to adjust to. I've just been mooching wifi at coffee shops and all around campus, which hasn't really been too bad.

Slowly the lab situation is improving. I feel a little more each day like I actually belong in this environment. It was kind of a rough start, which has only been compounded by the fact that my mentor will just be around 3 days a week and I'm still not sure which project I'm actually working on. But the other lab members have taken me under their wing and I've been able to tag along for some of their work, which has been fun. I got to help remove embryonic mice brains yesterday in order to grow some neurons. That was pretty sweet. And I'm still learning a lot, so at least there's that.

That's all I have for now.