Saturday, December 17, 2005

Winding Down

Another semester draws to a close--I still have a hard time comprehending how the older I get, the faster everything hurtles by. Woosh!

I have one grade back already: a B+ in Mol. The more I think about it, with just a few more points over the course of the semester, I might've been able to reach the A- range, but I can definitely live with that letter and I'm relieved to know that the Quest for the Pointy Letter is perhaps not as impossible a dream as I'd thought. Cell I don't know about yet, since the final was on Friday, but I'm hoping to salvage that to something not horrible...we'll see how that turned out.

The lineup for next semester, as soon as I get my registration issues ironed out, is as follows:
Advanced Genetics
Advanced Development
Seminar: Lincoln and the Constitution
3rd Rotation, followed by Agonizing Choice of Thesis Lab

I'm still undecided about what to do about, you know, Life. The beginning of this graduate adventure has been a gift, both to my sanity and my heart: about this time last year I truly was --l THIS l-- close to walking out on law school, except that would have made the persistent cloud of despair for the future that much worse. Now, although there is still plenty to fret about, hope and excitement have replaced despair. It's astonishing what a year and a couple changes will do for your spirit. Therefore, provided I don't muck up the other classes this semester, the decision is now whether to continue on the Masters track, or switch into the Ph.D. I used to be pretty sure that I'd never get a Ph.D., that it just didn't seem to fit. But now that I've had time to get to know myself a little better, I see that it might actually fit quite well!* Plus, given the number of classes I'll still need to take and that I'd want to do a laboratory-based MS thesis, a Ph.D. might not be *all* that much more combined time. (What can I say, I have these delusions about doing stuff like getting married and getting my own life before I'm 30...)

Sorry...I keep blabbing on about all that...but it's not an insignificant any rate, I do have that Biochem exam on Monday, and I've been so tired today that I haven't gotten much done, so here's to a few more hours attempting to study! Followed by a marathon tomorrow!

*Which is the story of my life in a nutshell...I swore up and down I would NEVER, EVER go to an Ivy League school, and look what happened...I thought it would be a good idea to go to law school, and, well, you get the picture...Never let it be said God doesn't have a sense of humor...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Hasta el fin...

This is technically still sort of the last post...for a dose of finals humor, The Unreasonable Man (a UMN Law student I don't actually know) presents the latest in his series of legal pick-up lines: Evidence.


It's that time of year again: Finals are upon us, here in the chilly North--actually, it was remarkably warm today. I find myself amazed that the semester could have passed so quickly, and despite the continual state of stress, it's held some good learning experiences, and I shall miss it.

That said, I would dearly, dearly love to skip right over Finals and head back home! (Either that or institute the Princeton Model, to get my Reading Period back, so that I could be Christmassy right now, instead of panicky.) Monday is the Mol final, Friday the Cell final (hopefully my PI will grant me a few days out of lab to study!), after which I cram for the Biochem final next Monday, and fly home next Tuesday. Hence this is likely the last post for a while.

Until then, a Merry pre-Christmas to All!...if you head out to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, you mayn't tell me until after the fact because I will be exceedingly jealous...I will try to send emails soon about working on getting together around New Year's/early January...

I leave you with these things of beauty at which to marvel in awe.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Speaking of Christmas...

I certainly hope that when the Stem Cell Institute moves into their new digs in January, they aliquot, er, allocate a few of their megabucks towards a color printer. Doesn't have to be a super sexy one--any colors other than black and white would be simply smashing. I'm just sayin', yo...

Monday, December 05, 2005

7 Down, 3 to Go

Meaning our exams, of course. This morning's was for Mol, covering RNAi, translation initiation regulation, and nonsense mediated decay. 'Twas, however, less difficult than expected (although this doesn't mean that I still couldn't have gotten things wrong), with several multiple choice questions and the rest short answer, most of which were fairly straightforward from the lectures, rather than being data interpretation or extrapolations from lecture concepts and assigned papers. This would be a welcome surprise, EXCEPT that (1) I didn't have time to finish the majority of the design-your-own-siRNA question (probably the most challenging question) and may not have gotten absolutely everything else right; and (2) the lower-than-expected difficulty level means that the margin for error for the test will be extremely small.

Why is this important? Well, the 1SD spread from the mean (the B range) is already fairly tight and high*, therefore a few points on the exam could have a large negative impact. Le just can't win...

Aren't you all so nice to let me vent! Off for that staple food, free pizza...

*Due in no small part, I'm sure of the presence of post-1st year grad students. I'd thought it was primarily 1st years and some undergrads, but found out this weekend that there are 2nd year and at least one 3rd year in the course. Oy!!