Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Hey everyone (or, should I say, just Josie?),

I got the best grade in the class on my Cell Bio test!!  WHOO!! I was so happy!  Maybe it's all that study-grouping I'm doing as a preceptor....I don't remember studying like crazy, but I guess I did go over the material a lot.  And now what we're learning in Cell Bio is what I've ALREADY learned in Vert. Neuro!  I pat myself on the back for deciding to stick with Vert. Neuro instead of switching to Vert. Phys.  Don't you just LOVE when you realize you made the right decision and how GOOD that decision really was?

Another piece of good news: I finished my Physics lab report about an hour ago!  YAY!!  I have learned my lesson.

Anyway, I have so far had fairly productive days, except when I get home, that is.  And then I start looking at random stuff like the Austin Teen Book Festival (this Saturday) or Science Study Breaks (tomorrow) on campus. 

How's your NS Week going so far?  Did you manage to get a T-shirt yet?  I'm still trying for that one.  I think I liked the ones from last year more (the purple ones); this year's are burnt orange just like everything else at UT.  I wanted to go to the Opportunities Abroad talk tonight but ended up going home instead.  Did anyone catch it?  Can you tell me the tips/tricks for doing research abroad?  Please and thank-you!  I'm really excited for Quiz Bowl tomorrow.  I submitted some questions, so I want to see if they got chosen.  I played a round last year and the professors totally beat the students.  They really do know everything!  From Jersey Shore to biochemistry to UT History going back to 1975!  Maybe I'll get my T-shirt tomorrow...I hope.

As you can see, I don't really have much to say.  Today's FRC meeting was very "chillaxing".  If you weren't there, you missed Sara's 7-layer, 7-color rainbow cake, Dan's desert metal, and lots of Starburst and Jolly Ranchers.  I don't know about you, but I've been eating a lot of candy lately. 

Last, but not least, DON'T FORGET about Thursday's Red Mango fundraiser @ Red Mango from 7-10pm (You don't have to stay the whole time) and Friday's ROADS to RESEARCH @ ACES 2.402 from 3-5pm.  Aimi, Leslie, Collin, and Christy have been working hard to put this together, so come and bring your friends!  You don't want to miss the VisLab tours or the free food; they are truly one-of-a-kind.  Our first IM Soccer game is also this Thursday at 6PM at the IF fields.  So, if you have time, go cheer for SURGe UNITED!

Hasta la vista!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What time is it? ...PANIC time!?

Have you ever panicked MORE AFTER your exams were over?  Like, maybe because you thought that it was super hard and you didn't know anything so you start cramming even after the test is already over?  Well, that's not me, but I have this unshakable feeling that I'm already behind in my classes, like I'm not utilizing my resources or time well enough.  (Because, you know, it's not like I'm blogging or anything and have to respond to lots of comments (HINT, HINT)).  This might be because I completely BOMBED my Physics test.  It was one of those tests in which all the hardest problems from the homework show up and you realize that maybe you should've paid more attention to them.

This has been a fairly productive weekend.  That's one good thing about being on edge, I guess.  I actually have the motivation to work.  I even tackled more than half of my weekly Physics lab!  YAY ME! (Kudos to who can guess that allusion.)

That doesn't mean I didn't goof off, though.  I spent some time re-watching episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is my FAVORITE, FAVORITE show EVER!  (Although Heroes, especially Season 3, is also really good.)  Don't laugh.  It's seriously amazing.  My favorite episode is Season 3, episode 6, "The Avatar and the Firelord".  There are some really good quotes in it, like, "Some friendships are so strong, they can even transcend lifetimes."  Pretty deep, huh?  And I also listened to High School Musical songs (for allusion, see title above).  Yes, I know I'm in college, but the music is just so catchy!

For the week ahead, we've got a MULTITUDE of events for ya!
I'm especially stoked for all the Natural Sciences Week events, like the Kick-Off in the East Mall tomorrow, and the Quiz Bowl on Wednesday, and the best, ROADS to RESEARCH, put on entirely by SURGe!  Don't forget to check out ROADS on Friday in ACES 2.402 from 3-5PM.  We'll have a graduate student panel and workshops for resume building, grad school, etc.  And of course, FREE FOOD, catered by O's Cafe!

But if you can't wait until Friday to hang out with your favorite SURGers and officers, then come by Red Mango on Thursday from 7-10pm (you can leave earlier if you want) for our fundraiser (Don't forget to say you're from SURGe!) and a rousing debate on some currently unknown topic.  You can even post on their Facebook page: Red Mango Austin about SURGe and help us make more profit!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Why do you look like that?"

So, in case you’re wondering what the title means, that’s what my mom said to me when I got home Monday night right as I opened the door. Talk about a stressful beginning of the week!

I have to admit, though; it was my fault. Again. I was pretty unproductive this weekend, for someone who had 2 quizzes on Monday and 2 tests yesterday. I don’t even know why, but after my Vert. Neuro. test on Friday (which I thought went pretty well), I was lulled into a false sense of security, thinking I knew stuff when I really didn’t. Besides, I deserved a break, didn’t I? I had been running around all Friday between meetings and presentations and SURGe stuff. So I convinced myself into taking the weekend off because I was “ready” for my midterms.


Tuesday rolled around and I was woefully unprepared. I sat through Vert. Neuro. discussion that morning (why do we have a discussion when we just had a test?), thinking, “Please just let me leave. I really don’t care right now.” Then I crammed for Cell Bio before taking the test, which went “Eh”. And then I crammed some more for Physics, which went badly. My resolutions to do well this semester are rapidly going down the drain...

And so, here we are, on Wednesday. And I still haven’t finished my Physics lab report! (See above for deflating resolutions.)

Even though I’m sure you enjoyed the disclosure of my miserable day yesterday, let’s move on to SURGe-related stuff because that’s why you’re here.

This week in SURGe, we’ve got an eclectic (nice word, huh?) collection of events for you:

Wednesday, Sept. 21 - EUREKA Workshop @ 6PM @ PAI 4.14.
Some SURGe officers will be there to answer your questions about research and to show you how to get started finding faculty using EUREKA, the online database and your one-stop shop for researching faculty on campus.

Thursday, Sept. 22 - Evolutionary Coral Lab Tour @ 3-3:30PM
Tour the Matz lab in the Patterson building, with our Events Chair, Leslie Ynalvez! The Matz lab has undergraduate positions currently available!
** Be sure to sign up by going to this website: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CPCSSKT

Friday, Sept. 23 - General SURGe Meeting @ 4PM @ PAI 3.02
Come meet and listen to a lecture about avonic sensors on space vehicles by Dr. Glenn Lightsey, aerospace engineer. Pizza provided afterwards as well as free Red Mango samples!

That’s all, folks! (Don’t you just love Looney Toons?)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When a good day just gets better!

You know those days when you wake up and you feel so relaxed and calm and you just KNOW that today's going to be a good day, or at least, not as bad as any other day?  Well...today was DEFINITELY one of those days! :)

Today started off with me and Dan Quintanilla (the other FRC Co-Chair) meeting with Dena Sutton, the manager for all the greenhouses in Welch.  And this time, it was actually not disastrous.  See, usually, we are made to realize just how bad our greenhouse really looks and how we aren't doing a very good job.  (Collin Johnson, the SURGe President, can back me up on this one.)  But THIS TIME, she was proud of us!  She APPROVED!!  THAT was how this great day started!

And then I went to Vert. Neuro. and actually answered a question when the entire class was silent.  But then my professor pointed at me with a laser pointer.  When he realized this, he joked that that was probably why no one wanted to answer his questions.  That was little embarrassing.....


The low point of my day: working on my Physics lab report, on which I procrastinated AGAIN for the second week in a row.  (Hey, I am WAY better than I used to be.)  The bad part was that I made myself finish it instead of going to get FREE Amy's Ice-cream at the HRC today for the poetry reading going on.  I guess I deserved it, huh? 

Lack of sugar intake and chocolately-goodness aside, I proceeded to my Physics lab, a 3-hour block in my Wednesday schedule, which, today, ended in just 20 minutes.  Yes, you read that right.  A LAB in TWENTY MINUTES.  Last week, it took FIVE MINUTES (because there was no new data collection).  Sweeeeet! 

Afterwards, I got a head start, working on my NEW Physics lab report in the Biology computer labs in the ACA building (ACA 1.126 and ACA 1.124), located behind PAT.  (Y'all should be proud of me; I learned my lesson.)  And, get this, there is FREE PRINTING here for anyone enrolled in a Biology class!!  Who knew, right?  1 BIO class = 200 pages; 2 BIO classes = 300 pages; 3 BIO classes = 400 pages.  And those quotas are PER SEMESTER!  So I proceeded to print homework and articles for class and then realized that I was actually in 3 BIO classes this semester!  Yay me!! :)  Can it GET any better than this? 

I happily came home early (er), albeit somewhat guiltily for not going to my FRI lab. Shhh.....  I promptly proceeded to raid the freezer and what did I find?  ICE CREAM!! I had an ice-cream sandwich AND 2 scoops of vanilla. (Ha!  Take that, Physics lab!)

So, because of my fabulous day today, I have now been writing this blog post for the past HOUR instead of studying for my first midterm on Friday.....

I hope you enjoyed it.  You're welcome.

On a related note:  If you don't know where there is free printing available on campus, I'll try to find out the locations and quotas for a slew of majors and list them here sometime this month. 

Keep checking back and thanks for reading!  As always, feel free to comment below.  I want to know if people are actually reading this stuff!

Yours truly,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hello There! or Am I Doing This Right?

Hey everyone!

How's it going?  My name is Vidya Bondada and I am your new blogger here for SURGe, the Science Undergraduate Research Group, the largest research group on campus!  You may also know me as a Co-Chair for the Fundraising Committee, and you've probably seen me at the meetings and the plant sales and in the greenhouse! 

Anyway, I just wanted to say "WELCOME (BACK)!!" to another exciting year of college.  Your SURGe officers have been working hard to give you the best SURGe has to offer, from undergraduate panels to lab tours to intramural sports.  We've got it all! 

If you really want to get involved with SURGe, there is still time!  You can join one of our committees:

Fundraising Committee (FRC): meets at 4PM at the Painter Greenhouse EVERY TUESDAY.
Public Relations Committee (PRC): meets EVERY MONDAY.  Time: TBD.  Contact Christy Portales at surgepr@gmail.com for more information.

This is officially my first blog post EVER, so, as you can see, I'm pretty excited!  I'll be using this as a venue to update you about SURGe goings-on and anything else about college that comes to mind!  Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have!