Last week we had some time off for Thanksgiving break. My family flew in to St. Louis and we spent the holiday with my grandparents. I helped make Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Then on Friday we went out into the shopping madness and bought Christmas gifts. I have a lot of wrapped boxes to take back home after finals because my parents couldn't fly with them. Some of them are for me which makes it really tempting to peek!
We also went to Ted Drewes, a frozen custard stand found only in St. Louis. My parents met in the city and often went on dates to the custard stand. It is one of our family favorite places to visit. When my dad drives out to see his family he often brings back cups of it on dry ice. If we visit St. Louis we always make a trip, even if it is freezing cold outside! We're a little addicted to it.
This semester is wrapping up very quickly. It is our last week of class and then next week we have final exams. I can't believe that we're almost halfway through the year! Last night I helped decorate my sorority with Christmas things. It was really fun and relaxing. I love the holiday season. Giving gifts is one of my favorite things to do and everyone seems just a little bit brighter this time of year.
With lots of assignments and tests to study for, everyone is busy with school work. There is a bit of a rush to finish up for the semester and get in a few more memories with seniors who graduate this month. This will be my last post of the semester. I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!
This past Saturday the William Woods Biology Club took a trip into St. Louis to go to the Science Center. We met early outside the Cox Science and Language building to to make the drive into the city. My grandparents live in St. Louis and my dad was visiting them so I decided to drive separately so I could go see them afterward.
The Science Center was a lot of fun. I had been there before as a kid, but I forgot just how big it is! First we went down to the lower levels to see the prehistoric dinosaur exhibit. They had real dinosaur bones and a triceratops's horn on display for people to touch. They also had a place where you could put together fossil puzzles and dig in the dirt for different artifacts. Then we went over to the energy exhibit. There were a lot of interactive stations to teach people about how energy works, what it takes to create energy, and how much energy people consume. They even have a stationary bike for people to pedal and try to generate energy. You would be surprised at just how hard that is. We couldn't generate enough energy for a blender to make two smoothies!
There were many other fun exhibits, but the highlight of the day was the visiting programs. They had a lot of booths set up to teach about being healthy. At one station some of the people in our group experienced what it was like to scrub in for a surgery.
We also got to learn all about the brain. They brought in PhD candidates and medical students to teach about their neurological research. One group even brought the brain and spinal cord of someone who donated their body to science research. They let people touch it (with gloves on of course) and explained that while it looks small, it is actually large compared to the size of our bodies. Elephants have bigger brains than us, but it is actually small in relation to their body size.
After we finished up at the Science Center, I met up with my dad and we visited my grandparents. Then Dad, Grandpa and I went to dinner at a sports restaurant. Neither my dad nor my grandfather enjoy sports, but they said we had to go because they had the best fries. Even though they complained a little about the noise, the restaurant had great fries!
I will be returning to St. Louis next week for Thanksgiving. The rest of my family will fly out from Colorado and my older sister will drive from her school in Iowa. I'm excited to see them and eat lots of tasty Thanksgiving food!
This semester is going by really fast! Here at the Woods we have less than twenty days of class, and Thanksgiving break will be here in two weeks. The weather just started getting colder, the trees are dropping the last of their leaves, and Walmart has put out their Christmas stuff. Everyone is experiencing the end of semester rush to finish up those semester long projects and take the last sets of tests before finals.
My classes are still going well. I'm towards the end of my last set of tests before finals which is crazy! I can't believe that it is already the middle of November and I'm going to be finished with this set of courses in just a few weeks. I enjoy my classes right now and I'm almost sad that they will be changing, but I'm hoping that my courses next semester are just as fun.
Psychology has gotten really interesting over the past few weeks. Right now we're talking about psychological disorders and the previous chapter was all about stress. While the disorders are not really "fun", it is interesting to learn about how many different kinds there are and what each one entails.
In Microbiology I'm learning all about viruses. They are very strange little things and they come in all shapes and do all sorts of different things in their hosts. We just took a test in Genetics on Monday and are between units at the moment. Last week in lab we isolated plasmid DNA, which is extra genetic material that gives bacteria cool little powers that aren't essential for living like antibiotic resistance or warfare chemicals. We finished up the plant research project a few weeks ago. I had normal plants (boring) but there were a few people who got mutants that will help Dr. Hesse with her research!
Organic Chemistry is quite the challenge, but surprisingly it is still interesting. We have done some cool separations and other techniques in lab. Earlier in the semester we actually identified what a particular compound was based on the temperature at which it melts! It is kind of cool that you can figure out what you have just based on one property. We also spent a few weeks isolating clove oil from whole cloves. We did a test to figure out how pure our extraction was using thin layer chromatography and UV light.
I am starting to get excited for Thanksgiving break. Some of the girls from my sorority are taking road trips to see their families as well, and a few of the people who live far away will tag a long and adopt a family for Thanksgiving if they don't want to travel all the way home. Because my grandparents live in St. Louis, my family is flying here from Colorado so we can all be together! My older sister will drive down from her school in Iowa to be with us as well. Over the break my younger sister will turn 16, and when she gets home she'll be able to get her driver's liscence (scary thought).
This weekend I'm going to the St. Louis Science Center with the Biology Club. I think I've gone before as a kid with my grandparents, but I don't really remember it. I'm excited to go see what's there now and hopefully do some exploring in the city!
This past weekend was a big visit day for our campus. The Admissions team and Equestrian Science Department coordinated a two day event, the Equine Academic Showcase. Students from around the country came to learn about all aspects of William Woods with an emphasis on the Equestrian Department.
Students and their families went on tours of the University, ate lunch in our dining hall, listened to the University President Dr. Barnett speak, and went to all kinds of break out sessions about getting in to William Woods and what it is like to be a college student here.
The focus of the weekend was our Equestrian Studies Department. My favorite part of the weekend was the Parade of Disciplines. Here at The Woods we have all four seats: Western, Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, and Saddle Seat. During the showcase there is an event where a few horses and riders from each seat have time to show the highlights of their discipline. One of the girls from my house actually rode in the Hunter/Jumper section. She is getting ready for a big show this week (they leave today), so she was excited to get some practice in front of a crowd!
After the Parade of Disciplines each barn set up a little session. Everyone toured around and learned about the different instructors and clubs that are associated with each seat. Students and their families fed the horses carrots and learned about how the applied riding and academic classes work over at the barn.
As a University Ambassador, I get to spend time with prospective students talking about all things William Woods. I love answering questions and talking about why I decided to come to The Woods. Over the weekend I served on a Question and Answer Panel and I also was able to host a student. She stayed overnight with me and we watched movies in the basement after all of the events at the Equestrian Complex were over.
Equine Academic Showcase is the event I attended when I was looking at William Woods. It is so important to visit the school because that is how you truly know you belong. I learned all about the Equestrian Program and the Biology Pre-Vet Program when I visited, and I stayed the night to get a glimpse of what it is like to live on campus.
This weekend is another visit weekend called Discovery Day. There are plenty of other opportunities to come for an individual tour or a visit day throughout the year and I strongly recommend visiting! It is always a good idea to come with questions, and don't be afraid to ask them if they don't get answered somewhere along the way. Maybe I'll even be the one to give you a tour!
William Woods Equestrian Studies Page:
William Woods Equestrian Studies Facebook Page: