Gearing up for Winter 2010

psuskybridgeClasses start on Monday! In one sense it feels like I’ve been on break forever, and in another it feels like it’s all starting up again so soon.

My main class will be the continuation of the biology class I took last quarter. This time though, the focus will be on evolution for the first half of the term and plant form and function for the second half of the term. I’m excited for both, though I read somewhere that in the evolution section the students have to memorize phylogenetic trees (basically these charts with branches showing how closely or distantly different species are related based on their rRNA sequences) and that sounds a bit tedious.

Still, I’m sure it will be interesting. And I’m psyched for plants, even though last quarter I felt like the chapter on photosynthesis was the one I had the hardest time really committing to memory and understanding. I just think it’ll be really fascinating to learn more about how plants, trees, flowers, etc. work. The class will be split between a professor I never had before for the first half, and my professor from last quarter for the second half.

And lab should be really interesting too. I heard from a study partner who took this class last year that the labs are a lot more fun for this quarter of the yearlong class. And I heard from my prof. from last quarter that they are trying some new labs and that sounds like it’ll be exciting and fun. I will have my lab assistant again this coming quarter, and a different TA. I’m glad I have it during the week this time around, instead of Saturday afternoons, b/c it meant I could never take off for the weekend or anything, but I did get used to it, and hope I’ll get used to having my Wednesday afternoons spent in lab instead.

For anyone who read this post about a course sign-up dilemma that led me to consider taking a singing class, I signed up for it! So I will be taking voice right after Bio lets out, and must say that I’m really looking forward to it. I have wanted to do this for soooo long, and always had trouble finding a way to make it happen, so I am going to soak it up!

At that point I was at 7 credits, and I have to stay at 8 (or under, but not above), so I had one more spot left for a one-credit class, and I decided to take another leap into something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile – I signed up for a self-defense class. I actually had to go out and find some workout clothes because the only thing I had was from when I was much smaller and definitely no longer fit. It’s definitely the class I’m most nervous about. Traditionally, gym classes have been pretty hard for me visually. The human body is an intricate thing and it’s just hard for me to see the exact movements that the teacher is modeling, and I’m not too well coordinated or adept at phys ed stuff. It’s just not my forte. In fact sometimes in the past taking this kind of class has been downright traumatic and just incredibly difficult and painful.

So I am nervous about it, and trying not to indulge an urge to opt out before I even experience the first class. I’m trying to remind myself that I have taken yoga classes on Orcas, and did gymnastics as a kid and dance lessons in India, so, there is hope. And I’ve contacted the instructor ahead of time, hoping to find a time to meet and just touch base about my disability. I think it will be a good class, and definitely an important skill to have. I mean I’m a visually-impaired girl walking around downtown in a city by myself a lot. And I like to feel free to do whatever I want, and sometimes that includes going to visit people or places that aren’t so close to me and drinking and then coming home on the bus and walking late at night. I mean, I do this anyway, but I would like to feel like I have some skills to protect myself if I ever encounter a scary situation. Especially since I am no longer so into the idea of getting a guide dog.

All in all, I’m looking forward to the new quarter.

Currently Reading:
Day Breaks Over Dharamsala – Janet Thomas – will definitely have more to say about this book as I go along, and as its author begins marketing. It will soon be widely available but for now I think is only at Griffin Bay Books in Friday Harbor, WA, or available directly from the author. So I am going to wait to say more until I can help promote it, because this is a total brilliant masterpiece of real human life.

The Real Grey’s Anatomy – Andrew Holtz – I don’t know how I happened upon this book, but I guess that is the magic of Powell’s Books. This book also isn’t out yet, the copyright says 2010 and what I have is a copy that says “Uncorrected Proofs for Limited Distribution/NOT FOR SALE,” yet I found it for sale at a discounted price. In the book, the author, a medical journalist, follows the real lives of surgical interns, and has millions of references to lines and scenes from the show, which just tickles me. The coolest part is the surgical interns and residents he follows are here in Portland at OHSU, so it has a local flavor (also cool since Grey’s takes place in Seattle, so both have the Pacific Northwest in common). The book doesn’t even have a real cover, just a yellow dummy cover. I think it’s cool. And it is true that it’s uncorrected, I’ve found errors and I’ve only read the first few pages so far. This author also wrote a book called The Medical Science Behind House, M.D. but (maybe surprisingly) I haven’t read that yet.

Currently Listening:
“Life is Short” – Butterfly Boucher – love this song, from the Pilot episode of Grey’s.

When it doesn’t rain, it snows
Yeah the cookie crumbles, but in whose hands?
All things said and all things done
Life is short

Oh I am young but I have aged
Waited long to seize the day
All things said and plenty done
Life’s too short

Oh, oh, could this be
Oh, oh, Could this be
The day I’ve waited for?

Another door to peak in through
The floor is filthy but the couch is clean
At the end of the day, it’s another day gone
Life is short
Oooh, life is short

Oh, oh, could this be
Oh, oh, could this be
The day I’ve waited for?

Oh I am young but I have aged
Waited long to seize the day
All things said and plenty done
Oh I am young but I have a past
Traveled far to find the start
Yes I am scared and I’ve been burnt
But life is short

Oh, oh could this be
Oh, oh could this be
The day I’ve waited for?

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