Finals Week Confession

Is it strange that I have been counting the days until dead week and finals? Getting to this light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel period of two weeks meant the end of 4 hour Organic Chemistry labs twice a week, those labs that managed to begin just as the sun began to warm the morning chill from your skin and end as its golden rays kissed the horizon goodnight. Dead week meant the end of two weekly lab reports of 20 pages, the end of midterms that should be labeled progress-exams-every-3-weeks. I cannot remember the last class I took in which the professor only gave one midterm. Getting to this point meant the end of leaving my room at 9:00am, rushing from here to there, and not returning until 8:00pm after dinner.

Don’t get me wrong, I am studying. With a final paper for my Honors Seminar, and separate finals for Physics, Organic Chemistry and the Lab, Spanish 100, and Spanish 25, I have enough to keep me busy.

But for someone who spent the entire quarter stressed and sleep deprived, I feel like I am in heaven. Finals week means cozy late-night tea, the sound of ocean waves crashing below the cliff through my open window, sleeping in until nine-thirty, studying in the comfort of my bed or desk all day. The serenity of a quiet room. These are the weeks I rediscover my love for knowledge, my desire for the ability to explain scientific phenomena, my relentless hunger to know “why” — I unearth the buried reasons why I challenged myself to graduate from college and pursue higher learning in the first place.

Plus I take a few minutes of the day to read one of many novels (The Forgotten Garden at the moment) who patiently waited —unread — on my shelf throughout the quarter as I trudged along through classes and worked long hours in my research lab.

Maybe everyone else will find this confession to be bizarre, or maybe just unexpected. I see it as a celebration of living in the moment – however dire the circumstances may be – because compared to the past, this optimist is thankful that the storm is over.

On a low note, the mounting of celastrol stainings of LC3B and Hsp70 that I mentioned in the last blog went horribly. The paint brush I was using was too large for the delicate procedure, but it was the only one available to me at the time. Only about 75% of the tissues were perfectly aligned for optimal microscope analysis. However, the actual staining with LC3B looked clear and distinct under the microscope with definite trends corresponding with the level of PHF-1 stainings (phosphorylated tau) observed in previous experiments. The fluorescent labeling of Hsp70 was not as successful, so Israel and I have been looking for alternate antibodies for the one we are using now.

Advertisements
Posted in 2010-2011, EUREKA
2 comments on “Finals Week Confession
  1. Nick M says:

    Hardly bizarre (and definitely unexpected), this post motivates me to find that same feeling that you explained. I use to know that feeling so well and it drove me to excel above and beyond in every aspect of my life. Somewhere along the road, I lost that feeling…that yearning for knowledge. Thank you for helping me find it.

    P.s. My novel has been lonely all quarter too, waiting patiently for me to finish with classes. 🙂

    • Madison Cornwell says:

      You are welcome Nick! I hope that you are taking some time to relax during spring break (if you are a student at UCSB) and gear up for another quarter. And thank you for reading my blog! It’s nice to know that someone is enjoying them 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Student Contributors
Alex Iteen is a second year student majoring in Biology. He is interested in bioengineering and synthetic biology. He is currently working in Dr. Fygenson's lab on DNA nanotubes.
See all his posts

David Wallace is a third year student majoring in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology. He is currently working in Professor Weimbs's lab studying the pathogenic mechanisms of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).
See all his posts

Eneida Chesnut is a senior majoring in chemical engineering. She transferred from SBCC, where she studied chemistry. She works with organic materials for solar cells and is very interested in renewable energy research.
See all her posts

Erzsebet is a second year chemical engineering major. She is interested in biotechnology and biophysics, and is working in Professor David Awschalom's lab investigating how cephalopod skin responds to different types of stimulation by light.
See all her posts

Madison Cornwell is a second year student majoring in Biochemistry and Spanish. She is a EUREKA intern through the California NanoSystems Institute and the Resident Assistant of the Women in Science and Technology House in Manzanita Village. She will be working closely with Dr. Kosik and graduate student Israel Hernandez for the remainder of her time at UCSB.
See all her posts
Participate
Are you interested in contributing to the UCSB Undergraduate Research blog? Email Kelly Pillsbury for more information.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers

Blog Stats
  • 19,021 visitors