Monday, July 14, 2014

First Day of Biotech

I knew the new school year would be difficult, but who knew it would start like this?

Thankfully, I found my class a good 10 minutes early today. I’m glad I didn’t get lost.

We started off the class with introductions. We all said our names, where we come from, what grade we’re in, and why we chose the class. Though that was probably Dr. Bhasin’s way of breaking the ice, it did nothing to relieve the nervousness we all seemed to have.
Where my class is

Next, we went on to a lecture. Dr. Bhasin seems friendly and nice, and gives really in-depth lectures. We covered most of my freshman year of biology in about an hour (which was crazy tiring). Honestly, I was a bit tired by the end of the lecture. Though I did remember most of the things Dr. Bhasin was lecturing, I felt too intimidated to say anything in a class full of extremely smart students. During the beginning of the lecture I felt like I was lost and was trying to catch up, but by the end of the lecture I was feeling a bit better about myself.

During our lunch break (which is between the lecture and the lab, lab write-up, and discussion portion of the day), most of us in the class walked over to the Dining Commons. It turns out a lot of people were lost! I’m glad I’m not the only one who was lost. I really hope I do better the rest of this summer, though.

The lab part of the class was difficult. I paired up with a girl named Emily from Singapore, who’s really sweet. I think part of the requirements for joining this class should be to have had recent experience with a microscope before, because I definitely was not ready for what Dr. Bhasin and the TAs had for us. The lab today was supposed to be about Lab Safety and Lab Basics, but what we did definitely did not feel like that. We basically did three labs in two hours. For someone who hasn’t touched a microscope in two years, that lab session was definitely challenging.

My partner also doesn’t have that kind of equipment at her school, so this was totally new to us. We had to figure out how to use the microscope and micropipettes, as well as how to read and set the micropipettes.

I hope I got a good grade on the lab write up, which was due at the end of the day (at around 3 PM). My brain felt like it was melting by the time class was over.

Crerar Library
The class then took a tour around Crerar Library, UChicago’s scientific library (which I’m sure will soon be my favorite hangout). Since it is close by, my roommate and I walked to the Harper Memorial Library after class. We didn't find books or places to read in it, which was surprising. Instead, it had offices and classrooms (which I’m glad we found).

Right now, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to do in this class. Just for today we have two short articles on biotechnology and biomimicry to post and explain with our class online as well as a Fire Safety quiz (I'm done with both!). To read, we have a four-page (front-and-back) article about Superbugs (to be discussed on Wednesday), two lab protocols we’re getting tested on tomorrow (one being 11 pages [got it out of the way already], the other being 8 pages long), and today’s lecture and lab notes to review.

I skipped all of today’s after-school activities and almost missed dinner trying to get everything finished (I ran into the Dining Commons a minute before it closed). I just hope tomorrow’s a better day.

I'm sorry there aren't as many pictures!

Every dark cloud has at least one silver lining, however—at least I’ll know I’ll be a biology pro in three weeks’ time.

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