Killing Time Waiting for my Final

bioexamAnd my brain is full, I don’t think there is any point in trying to stuff in any more details about biology. Anyway we had a practice final and I got 78 out of 80, so I’m probably fine, I hope.

So, today is the last day of my first term. Overall, it’s been really good. Really loving the biology class, and my lab group started studying together. That’s been great! We’re all contributing, splitting up tasks like writing up vocabulary, going through practice tests, teaching each other things the others don’t get so well. I know it has been a huge benefit on both ends. It’s great to have people to clarify things you don’t quite get, and it’s also very helpful to teach something to someone else. I feel like my knowledge of how to solve genetics problems really solidified when I wrote it out to show another girl in my group. And studying with these guys is fun! Our ages range from 22 to 39 and a lot of times we take our study sessions to the bar, or go grab a beer before class or after a test. It’s been really fun, and it’s kinda cool to have people to talk with about this stuff b/c most people I know aren’t really into biology.

Apparently our study group is pretty effective, we kind of have a study group stalker (this guy who really, really wants to be in our study group next term, which is fine as long as there is some contribution).

It’s been a LOT of information though! In these 9 weeks we covered the very basics of evolution, basic biological chemistry (mostly involving carbon and water), proteins, DNA & RNA, lipids, the cell and alllll its components, cell communication and signaling, aerobic respiration, photosynthesis, cell division, cell division in gametes, genetics, DNA replication, how genes work, transcription and translation, gene expression in bacteria, gene expression in eukaryotes, genetic engineering, genomics, bacteria, and viruses.

It’s like holy shit that’s a lot of material! And a lot of it is pretty detailed. I am enjoying the challenge, and learning a LOT. One of the things I love is that our book is very well illustrated. The artist who drew them has a Ph.D in biology and really tried to draw things as they really look. I am learning that I am a very visual learner. Whenever we’re going over something in study group, I’m always, “Oh yeah, it’s that picture with the purple enzyme…” The enzymes are definitely the coolest looking things in the book. My favorites so far are phophofructokinase (plus that name is so cool), the spliceosome and the basil transcription complex. A lot of the enzymes look like these blobby monsters. They’re kind of adorable (or “cute” as I’m told is the “in” word here in Portland).

One of my favorite things is called dideoxy sequencing, which is just a really, really cool and innovative way to determine the sequences of smaller stretches of DNA. The guy who thought that up, Sanger, just had to be soooo fucking brilliant to put that together and that sort of genius just kind of turns me on, lol. I am hot for dideoxy sequencing (although actually doing it now is not quite as cool as the original way, and probably really doing that kind of sequencing would be tedious and boring, I just think the invention is sooooo cool).

It’s also really interesting to have a working knowledge of what genetic engineering is and how it’s done. I’m sure what is in our book is very cursory, but still I know a lot more now, about things and concepts that are sort of tossed about a lot and how they are done. Our book brings up some ethical concerns about it, but what I thought was cool was that our prof really went into a lot more of that, including things I had never thought about and lots of things I had. In fact there is a class next term called Genes and Society which is all about the ethics of genetic stuff, by this woman who’s gone all over the world studying the effects of genetic engineering. I really wish I could take it but I am half time so I can’t or it will put me over my financial aid bracket which would be no good at all. I might see if it’s going to be offered again next year, and if not maybe I will see if I can sit in. Gotta say, a lot of this stuff is soooo fascinating! In our study group, I was the one who wrote up the genetic engineering chapter so feel very familiar with it (I also had the sex/cell division in gametes chapter, lol).

All right, well just stopping by b/c it’s been awhile. I think I am actually going to go review viruses one more time, eat some dinner and then head over to the classroom. Almost wish the test was earlier in the day, feeling pretty antsy just sitting here killing time.

Currently listening:
“500 Miles” – Tori Amos – really getting into this album (abnormally attracted to sin, and must say I love that title), and this is probably my favorite so far. I’m just digging it, loving the lyrics, singing it all the time. I am definitely on yet another Tori kick.

He walked 300 miles
just to bring, to bring me bread
His body like a sculpture
almost decorated

And I’ll wake him as the dawn does
and we’re breaking on the bus
saying this was made for us
and now

In lovers communion for 500 miles
and in 500 miles
will he break, bring me again
In lovers communion for 500 miles
and in 500 miles
will we break even break

step it up
grab your phone, get your suitcase
there’s no time to waste
a big adventure awaits

Sad news
France suffered a late snow
The blooms break through the ice
And San Francisco,
Her guitar man finally confessed
He loved that actress
With hearts touched by frost
We fought in the land of a midnight sun
I lost myself
I lost myself

I walked 300 miles
just to bring, to bring him bread
In love some gifts are simple
Others I underrated

So I wake him as the dawn does
and we’ll face what any lovers must
blueness pales within a flame’s lust

In lovers communion for 500 miles
and in 500 miles
will he break, bring me again
In lovers communion for 500 miles
and in 500 miles
will he break, even break
will we break, even break
Break, even break
Don’t slide, don’t weep
my life even
break

Okay, this is NUTS – right as I was about to hit post, the power in my building went out. I had to forgo the rereading of notes and get ready in complete darkness! The hardest part was finding my glasses in the dark, lol, and then I also had to find my scantron form. On my way out my apt manager told me I shouldn’t leave (our door has this electrical key thing to open) b/c she was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get back in, but I was like sorry lady gotta take my exam. So I did, and it went well. It was pretty straightforward. No real hard thinking/puzzling through questions like usual. Just straight up do you know your shit. Hopefully I did.

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9 thoughts on “Killing Time Waiting for my Final

  1. Just want to say, I am not being an evil censor. When I delete comments it's b/c they are stupid spamming posts trying to get you to sign up for or buy things, and that's just not something I want to clutter up this blog.

  2. It went really well! I ended up getting 78 questions correct out of 80! Funny that it was the exact same score as the practice, so in a way it makes me wonder if I should have even bothered studying so hard!

  3. It was rather interesting for me to read the article. Thank author for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

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