Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another year older...

I feel a little guilty for not having posted in so long, so you get TWO posts today!

Yesterday was my birthday and it was actually a normal, uneventful day (if you discount the dozens of Facebook posts on my wall) until I got to the Fundraising Committee (FRC) meeting.  After getting my finger poked at the health screening yesterday in Jester, I walked slowly to the greenhouse and still got there on time.  But I saw Dan, who did a double-take and pretty much told me to get lost.  He said, "Wait.  Go away.  Come back in 10 minutes."  But I kept walking, after which he insisted that he really wanted me to leave.  So I went inside Painter to check my email in the OHRIS office.  When I logged in to my email, I had 64 unread messages, most of which were Facebook notifications or my family sending assorted birthday ecards.  I had a good laugh reading every person's Facebook post through my email- my favorite one being my lab partner suggesting I should do some Colony PCR in lab to celebrate.

Fifteen minutes later, I went to the greenhouse and they were STILL not ready, but I walked in anyway, despite hearing Dan yell out, "Everybody hide!".  There were only five people: Dan, Sara, Varduhi, Krishna, and Collin, but they had decorated!  The colored chalk from Friday's sale was still there, but they had found space to write out "Happy Birthday Vidya!" in front of the door.  There were pots lined up in the front, spelling out "Happy Birthday" in rainbow colors on blue sticky notes.  The best, and my favorite part, were the rainbow streamers attached to the top of the door frame and lining the ceiling of the greenhouse!  It was so sweet!  Thank you, everyone.  You made me feel very special. :-)  We were going to have cookies but Amanda couldn't make it (poor girl!  She looked like she was in a hurry when I saw her earlier).

After FRC, I went to Red Mango with my friends (the mango and pomegranate flavors are back!) and it was nice to just sit there and get caught up.  None of us wanted to leave afterwards!  I skipped working on my Physics lab report with my partners (more on this later).  As I was going home, I noticed that the Tower was lit up orange, and I couldn't help but think that it was for me (wishful thinking, I know)!  My mom made a new dessert to top off my sugar intake for the day.  So, in the end, I had a pretty good birthday, but I still have to reply to all of those posts on Facebook!

My Physics lab report got me; I knew it was only a matter of time.  I was pretty tired when I got home so I went to bed early and didn't even wake up early this morning to work on my lab report.  And of course, this would be the one in which I don't know how to do something.  And I missed asking my lab group because I had lunch today with my best friend from high school.  Oh well...lesson learned.  Maybe.

As far as other SURGe stuff goes, we are helping out at TWO events tomorrow: Crazy Science Extravaganza from 9a-1p at the Texas Hillel (21st/San Antonio), where volunteers get free breakfast, lunch, and a T-shirt!; and Environmental Science Institute's lecture about geological field work in space, where we'll have some pre-lecture activities from 5:30p-6:45p in Welch.  If you are available, please, PLEASE come by to help out!  We always like seeing members at our events!

And, of course, no Friday is complete without our weekly plant sale and general meeting!  This week, we welcome Dr. Thomas Garza, who will be talking about vampire lore.  Oooh.  This will be a nice lead-in to Longhorn Halloween, taking place at the Erwin Center this Sunday from 2p-5p, but you can help us out from 12p-6p!  Get excited!!  More information will come during the meeting this Friday about costumes (Pokemon-themed!  Don't tell me you weren't expecting that.) and our booth.  One last thing I wanted to mention: there will be an icecream social Friday from 4p-6p in the Anna Hiss Gym Courtyard hosted by the School of Biological Sciences.  Yay for icecream! :)

Whew!  That's a lot of events!  Hopefully I'll see you at some of them!  As always, feel free to comment below! :-D  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The bane of my productivity

The following post is something I should have posted Sunday night but never got to:

This past week has been one in which my level of productivity can be summed up in one word: ZILCH and its many synonyms: zip, nothing, nada, naught, blank...well, you get the point.  I have done absolutely no work on my classes.  This is what happens when you just had a test and there's not that much new material. I was woefully unprepared for my study group session today

And you know what made it WORSE?  I got my hold for The Son of Neptune last week!!!  Now, ordinarily, this would be a good thing, a GREAT thing, even.  I was definitely jumping up and down and screaming for a good five minutes when I got the email.  No joke.  Try as I might to avoid reading it before finishing my homework, I couldn't.  I've been waiting to know what happens to Percy since June.  Talk about temptations!  Yes, I started reading and I couldn't stop!  By Saturday morning, I was almost halfway done, and that's when I just couldn't take it anymore!!  I HAD to know what was going to happen next!  So I spent the rest of Saturday skimming until the end, instead of integrating my Cell Bio notes and doing Physics problems.

And now that I know all of what happens, I realize just how bad of a decision this was.  Not only have I not spent time on what's more important to my future (sadly, Percy's fate will not help me get into medical school), I now have a FULL YEAR to wait until the next book comes out!  And I spent nearly two hours today looking at speculations and reviews.  I think I already mentioned that I'm obsessed.  Although, I have to say, the book is pretty good.  Well worth the wait.

This past week, though, has been a WONDERFUL week for SURGe.  SURGe United won its first soccer game with a score of 3:1!  Too bad it was the last game for this IM season.  Good work guys and gals!  Even though I wasn't there, I heard you worked really hard for it.  A shout-out and big thanks to all who played!  And our Pokemon social on Friday was kind of cool.  I have to say, even though I'm not a Pokemon fan, having never seen it, I think it turned out to be a great idea.  If you weren't there, you missed the Grant Writing Workshop, picking up your fancy lab safety certificates, and Dan's and Collin's sugar-filled liquid nitrogen icecream recipe, which actually turned out to be quite good!  And the plant sale wasn't bad-it's always nice to see members come to help out, and even decorate!  Yay for colored chalk!!

That's all I've got for now.  I still have to finish my lab report!  Advice: Don't read your favorite series when you're in school, kids- it'll only distract you from what's more important!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

The day I touched greatness

Hey everyone,

Did you miss me?  I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I last updated!  Sorry about that-all of last week I spent my free time in lab, only to come up with inconclusive results for my gel image.  And now I have to do it again.  A note of advice about lab and research: when things stop going well for you, that's a sign you need to take a break.  I spent almost 14 hours in lab last week!  And this week, I've had 3 midterms, 2 presentations, 1 lab report, and a quiz.  But now I'm done!  I'm freeeee!  At least until sometime mid November. 

My exams were: meh.  I tried a new study technique that actually seemed to work: go to bed by 10:30/11:00 and get up at 5:00/5:30 and keep studying till your exam.  So even though I got up at 5:30 today, I feel fine because I got ~7 hours of sleep last night.  If you have exams coming up, you should try this!  It's better than staying up until 4AM and then only getting 2 hours of sleep before your test, especially if your tests are back-to-back.

So here's what the title of this post refers to:  I am a HUGE fan of the Percy Jackson series and its sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus.  The new book (#2), The Son of Neptune, came out on Oct. 4th and all week, author Rick Riordan was touring the country for book signings.  And guess WHAT?

He came HERE!  To Austin's BookPeople on 6th Street.  And guess who went to see him and sat front-and-center?  And guess who gave him a high-five?  And guess who recorded his speech but only until her phone's memory ran out?  Yep, that's right.  ME!!!!  Yes, I'm obsessed; I think I already mentioned that.  Yes, I know I should have been studying, but you wouldn't pass up an opportunity to meet one of your favorite authors, would you? 

I felt strangely like I didn't fit in.  Since it was Columbus Day on Monday, there were kids, like 8-11 years old, and there were their parents, and then there was me, with my backpack and my Vert. Neuro. notes.  Still, it was cool to be there and when I came back from my little field trip, I went to two review sessions.  So it balanced out.

As for plans for this weekend, SHOPPING!!!  And movie-watching and sleeping and eating junk food.  It's going to be awesome!!  I might even post more just to rub it in that I'm finished with my tests.  And of course, you know, to keep you entertained on your study breaks... :D

I hope to see you at the plant sale tomorrow and the lecture by Dr. Michael Barratt, an astronaut and doctor!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Great week!

So, last time you checked in, I was complaining that I didn't get my NS Week T-shirt, but I did on Wednesday!  I went to Quiz Bowl and it was fun.  We lost..again.  The score was 37-18, or something.  It was pretty funny to me, though, because I submitted some questions, the majority of which were Classics/Greek mythology-related.  I chose this topic because I took Intro to Classical Mythology last semester and I LOVED IT!!!  Nobody could answer these questions at Quiz Bowl, though, and one of the professors even asked if there were any questions not related to Greek mythology!  My pop culture questions were chosen, too, and some of them were actually answered, so that was nice.  When it was my turn to play, I got two of my own questions, but then I forgot the answer to one of them!  That was a little pathetic...  But hey, I got my T-shirt!

Thursday was my least productive day; it sure was fun, though.  I hung out with my best friends, Azeen Anjum and Karima Khimani, all day.  We had lunch together, discovered free printing (well, I helped them to discover it-see previous post), helped Karima reclaim her "life" by finding her folder, and got free food!  We went to the NS Week event "The Look to Land the Job" and got Schlotzsky's for dinner! I was surprised to see there weren't that many people there.  And I also realized that I have no clothes if I want to go to a professional interview.  I learned a lot about clothes that night.  For example, do you know the difference between business casual and corporate casual?  Or the difference between a jacket and a blazer?  Or whether or not it's okay to wear open-toed shoes to an interview?  Afterwards, we went to Red Mango for the fundraiser!  Yummm...  It almost made up for SURGe United losing their first IM soccer game 4-0.  At least we have nowhere to go but up, right, Captain Gerardo?  :)

Friday, I was running back-and-forth between meetings and events.  I spent about an hour at the Stem Cell Symposium they had at the AT&T Center.  I thought it would be interesting, but then I got a little bored when the speaker started talking about how they would test the effectiveness of lithium and ES cells for spinal cord injury.  Not to mention I felt a little out of place to see I was the only kid there...  But the best part of Friday was definitely ROADS to RESEARCH.  The food was soo good (yum..fudge brownies!).  I also got to talk to my TA, Laura Christian, who was a part of the grad panel.  And I got to play with the "world's biggest IPAD" in the VisLab tour and find a cello in the picture of the Austin skyline on the supercomputer Stallion.  That was really cool.  And another thing that made me happy: I got to see most of you!  I didn't know how many of you were interested in grad school.  I hope you enjoyed the event and hopefully won some prizes!  This is what makes me want to be an officer, so I can help plan things like this for all of you...

Thanks for reading.  Hopefully I'll see you Tuesday at the FRC Meeting!