Saturday, November 24, 2007

The start of my senior year... it's November already?

I made it home from Costa Rica and suddenly all communication stopped…. It’s not you, it’s me, I swear.
It has been one crazy semester. I discovered, for the first time in my life, that my time can not be infinitely subdivided. Unfortunately I didn’t realize this until after it was too late to drop a few of the 19 course units I had signed up for. So, my excuse for dropping off the edge of the virtual world is 4 courses, senior thesis research, ultimate Frisbee, lab work, Co-op house work, and a wee bit of homework.
This semester I signed up for Evolution, Biomechanics, Plants and Fungi, and Statistics (listed in order of increasing distain). Actually, Evolution and Biomechanics have turned out to be pretty interesting classes. Even the plants and fungi class, once we moved beyond the life cycles of various colored algae, turned out to be alright. But that leaves statistics…… (gag, cough, retch) I should really clarify, I don’t hate statistics as a subject, I just despise my class and feel that nearly every minute I sit in that desk is a minute of my life I am going to wish I had back in about 70 years. This class has been going since august and it took us until chapter 22, last week, to learn about P-values and confidence intervals. I think it is great when professors take time to explain the material, but this is just absurd! The rumor has it that we might make it to t-tests by the end of the semester, but I wont hold my breath.
In addition to “normal” classes I have been spending a decent chunk of my time working on an independent research project (code named Project Salamander Fungus, not to be confused with various other shenanigans such as Project Potato Power -aka taking over the world one starchy tuber at a time). Anyways, I still manage to spend my time tromping through mud in the pouring rain looking for dirt brown colored salamanders on brown dirt. The results of my summer work were pretty cool, and I was able to present a poster at a conference in Arizona earlier this month. The conference was neat and I learned a lot. Possibly the most amusing part of the weekend was when I ended up stranded in the hotel lobby for almost 4 hours because the rest of my group hadn’t made it to the hotel yet. It wouldn’t have mattered at all, except my bags were with them, so I didn’t really have any entertainment. Four hours: I tested out most of the chairs, coerced one of the desk clerks into letting me play with the gecko, took a nap by the pool, scouted out the first floor of the hotel, retested the chairs…. It was quite a way to spend an afternoon.
I returned from the conference Tuesday night for a really enjoyable midterm on the life cycles of various colored algae on Wednesday morning. I was there and ready to take the test at 9am, unfortunately the professor had sort of completely forgotten. Ooops.
Don’t despair, we rescheduled and a mere three hours later I was able to showoff my quasi-impressive knowledge of when Volvox sp. is haploid and diploid.
The next week I had two delightful midterms: evolution and biomechanics, on the same day. It was nearly painless, except for that time when I almost didn’t make it to my evolution midterm because I didn’t know what building it was in… oops. I was in the bio building, where I had assumed the test would be, and I ran into another student who was panicking because she couldn’t find the test. To her dismay, I didn’t know where the test was either, but thirty seconds of near-panic later another classmate walked by and divulged the secrete midterm location. So, we all made it to the test. Hurrah!
Finals don’t start for another few weeks, so thanksgiving almost feels like a holiday. Except for that homework.

I am going to try to restart this whole bloggermajig. We will have to see how it goes. Amusing things still seem to happen on an hourly basis: chasing escaped frogs across the animal care room, discovering that the house foosball schedule conflicts with my bedtime schedule, cooking dinner for 40 on 6 hours notice…. All good stuff, and potential fodder for my keyboard.