It is our first week back at The Woods and I am really looking forward to all of my classes this semester! Over the break I did a lot of different things.
I worked a little bit at my old summer job as a dog kennel staff member. We play outside with the dogs for four hours total in a day, and I was lucky and had a puppy in my group! Her name is Nutella and all she wanted to do was run around and play, keeping the entire group active. She didn't quite have the coordination down, and she fell into a dip in the yard with a confused look on her face, but then decided it was a great place for a nap!
Every year my family goes skiing in Winter Park for the four days before Christmas. This year I hit the slopes with my dad. Since we aren't Colorado natives, we haven't skied for very long and mostly stick to greens (the easiest slopes). We stay at a condo and bring some friends. We also go tubing at night, which is really fun. I enjoyed getting out on the mountain, even though we did have a lot of freezing wind.
We have two major traditions on the ski trip. One is to watch What Women Want, which is hilarious and the other is to go to a pizza place in town. They have dollar bills all over the walls, ceilings, and tables that people decorate. It's fun to search the walls, and it's even better when you find things you recognize. Last year I added a William Woods dollar, and this year I found several with my sorority letters on them!
When I first got home I decided to donate my hair. I had 8 inches to donate (but it took another 1.5 to get it even). Everyone was surprised when I came back to school, but it's already starting to grow back out.
I hope your holiday season was relaxing and full of family and friends!
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!