Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yesterday Was the Past, Today Are the Presentations

Almost another day has passed. The time to spend as much time in the city and with classmates has begun.

We started the day off with presentations. April and I went first. We talked about one of the most popular cosmetic procedures presently being used in the U.S., hyaluronic acid fillers. These are polymers found in the joint and eye fluids, soft connective tissues, cartilage, and skin tissue of all living organisms. These are injected in aged skin that has become dry and brittle due to a decreased production of hyaluronic acids, which act as a "water reservoir" in the skin. We talked about the time and money behind these procedures, how the fillers are made, the differences between different fillers, and more.

I think we did pretty well. We could have been better had we had more time to work on the presentation, but people seemed interested in the topic. We were also able to answer all the questions, much to my relief.

We listened to other presentations on topics such as HeLa cells, biofuels, prion disease, oncolytic adenovirus and reovirus, and the debate on stem cells. I learned a lot from my classmates; I liked the oral presentations, though I personally don't often enjoy public speaking. I was glad to hear from our TAs that everyone in the class received great grades!

We went straight into our discussions. We first talked about what we found was good and bad about the course, and what improvements they could possibly make (like suggest a book or assign reading material before the session starts so that people who haven't previously taken an advanced biology class wouldn't be lost). We talked about how awesome our TAs are, especially compared to those in other classes, and how much we'll miss working in the lab (no more pipetting! No!). We told them how much lab primers, which are like study guides of the lab protocol quizzes, are so helpful! We also told them how nice not having lab protocol quizzes would be, but of course they dismissed that idea.

After discussing the course, we moved on to our reading assignments about animal biotechnology and the possibilities in that field. Soon after, we were dismissed to go to lunch.

I decided to get lunch from a food truck. Kaitlyn, April, and I split a white pesto pizza and garlic fries, which were both delicious. We sat on a lawn and enjoyed the sunshine among the clusters of people enjoying their lunch break.
Garlic fries
Pesto pizza
Oven-baked pizzas made fresh

After lunch Dr. Schonbaum gave us a lecture about biomarkers for disease detection. The information was extremely interesting (it really was!), but this past week of late nights has taken its toll on our class. One of my classmates even has a bruise from pinching herself awake.

We stretched, ate chocolate, and walked around until the start of our review for our second exam tomorrow. I can't believe our last review was more than a week ago. Based on how much I've learned, it feels like it's been so much longer, but at the same time it feels like barely any time has passed!

Once review finished, I walked back to the dorms with April, Kaitlyn, Olivia, and Anna. At the dorms, I checked my emails and started doing some work until to my surprise, it was already 5:50 PM!

I grabbed dinner and walked to the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore with the cohort and Alie. We listened to Jimmy present his paper for his final project. He was so good!! We're all so proud of him!!!

Now, after going to Study Break (tonight Jill's prepared confetti cupcakes--she remembered that my birthday's this Saturday!), I'm studying for tomorrow's exam. I'm both excited and sad for our last day tomorrow. I hope it's a great last day.
Confetti cupcakes!

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