Monthly Archives: July 2012
Dear Reader! Where has summer gone? July is done in 4 days! The REU ends in 2 weeks!! Classes start again in a month!!!
It has been a frustrating month. I have been battling my data since we last spoke. Continually and viciously. And until yesterday, it was winning. However, with some assistance from a lovely postdoc (who is working in South Africa), I am no longer spinning my wheels. I finally got a decent field galaxy sample (no stars, no poor images, no empty space) and I will be able to start determining properties of the galaxies next week. Research is a funny thing. In coursework, you are placed in a nice little bubble where there is always a correct answer. In research, no. Obviously you are working toward finding an answer, but there is no bubble, even in baby projects like mine! AND THAT IS SO HARD! But. It has also been an extremely positive experience for me. I think everyone going into science should work on an actual research project. I honestly think has given me a new prospective on what I am doing and it is going to help me as I start my coursework in the fall. I also will be meeting with my Modern Physics instructor next week to decide on an essay topic for the honors portion of the class. I’ll let you know what we decide on!
Also, I mentioned on my tumblr that I got a Supplemental Instruction position for the fall. I will be the SI leader for a introductory biology course. My professor from last fall contacted me and asked if I would be interested – so! It always feels good to know you made a good impression on someone! And SI leader will be a nice thing to put on a CV and hopefully I will be able to help people be less fearful and annoyed with (and possibly come to love) a science course. I mean, science courses intimidate a lot of people, so I’m gonna be like the Doctor – here to help. So! I’m really excited about it! The orientation is at the end of next month. I am also going to be going to the biology professor’s lab and learn how to do Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). That is kind of exciting. Also, I really want to wear a lab coat and goggles! I mean, I suppose I could wear them now, but it would only be to amplify my dashing good looks…
Other new and exciting things! I might be participating in a symposium in August! We will be discussing our summer research with REU students from other departments. I’m not 100% sure if that is happening, but hopefully!! It will be nice to meet people from other departments and hear about their research.
On a personal note, I have been working in a garden on campus! I think that it is going pretty well! My tomato plants have tomatoes on them and my squash, cucumber, and melon plants are flowering. I have a bunch of dill, basil, and lavender. And my collards and chard are coming in very nicely! Honestly, I am a terrible gardener, but I am learning!