I just about shocked everyone when I, as a junior in high school taking excess honors and college credit English and Spanish courses, said that I was going to major in biology. A few people laughed. A few people thought I was crazy. And some thought I’d never make it through.
And now, it’s just over two months until I receive my BS degree in biotechnology and physiology.
Biology wasn’t always easy for me. There were days that I considered quitting. There were days when I literally fell asleep in my textbooks. There were days when I thought I’d never be able to understand the mind-blowing concepts or work independently in a lab. Now, however, I’m technically finished with all of my biology course requirements, and I’m proving to myself a little at a time that I can work independently in a laboratory setting because, well, I am working in one for half of the work week. Don’t get me wrong – there are still days that I come home wondering if I’ll ever be able to “make it big” and leave my mark on science – but I’m realizing that making that bold decision to major in biology was well worth it.
What advice would I give someone who is thinking about going into biology? In short, biology isn’t just a program or a degree – it truly is a way of life. If you’re interested in learning about the inner workings of life, if you choose to study biology, and if you’re anything like me, your life will be made so much fuller by studying biology.
Did you know that Listerine was once used as a floor cleaner? Or that Stan Musial had more doubles than strike outs? Or that Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll Chuck Berry continues to perform monthly right in town? These and other interesting facts may be learned at the Missouri History Museum’s newest exhibit, which celebrates St. Louis’s 250th birthday.
This past weekend, I went with my family to see this new exhibit. The “250 in 250” exhibit celebrates 50 people, 50 images, 50 moments, 50 places, and 50 objects that are considered to be integral parts of what makes our city great. It wasn’t your standard museum exhibit – though there was a lot of reading (I’ll give you that), there were also a lot of touchscreen, interactive areas that allowed visitors to learn more about the past in a manner that’s familiar to them in our ever-more-technological world. Visitors even had a chance to write a letter that will be “delivered” to St. Louis fifty years from now in the year 2064 – I found that to be intriguing yet somewhat creepy at the same time.
Though some of my favorite St. Louis venues (such as the Zoo and Gus’s Pretzels) were not necessarily highlighted by this exhibit, it was definitely worth the trip. We spent two hours there, but we could’ve spent a lot more time if we would’ve had that time. All in all, if you’re looking for a fun outing, and if you love the city of your birth (or, for some of you, the city of your university), definitely take the short trip from campus over to the History Museum in Forest Park. You won’t be disappointed.
Planning your trip already?? Get some info here…
I’ve recently come to the hypothesis that every college student is a circus performer. That is, while in college, one is balancing school, work, friends, family, and extracurricular activities. Up until this year, biology courses have dictated my life, meaning that my schedule was set. I’d go to school during the weekdays, come home to read countless chapters and finish assignments until I fell asleep (either in my books or in my bed – whichever was closer at the time), and spend the weekends catching up and attempting to get ahead.
However, this year is different. I’ve finished all of my required biology courses, so you’d think it’d get easier to balance out my schedule. Wrong! I’m actually finding it harder to do so. I’m working a lot more this year than I ever did before, so that means that most of my free time at school is devoted to tutoring and that I spend half of my weekdays in the lab, where it’s hard (sometimes nearly impossible) to get any studying or reviewing done, even during lunch breaks. I’ve been getting home later in the evenings due to work and classes, so, by the time I get home, it seems pointless to crack a book since I’ll literally just fall asleep as soon as I open it. Therefore, my homework is, once again, pushed off to the weekends.
Do I like this new balancing act? It goes both ways. I love having the opportunities to tutor and work in the lab more, which is something that the past three years didn’t give me a lot of time to do. And I am finding that I have more free time on the weekends to catch up on taped television shows. On the other hand, though, I miss the order and schedule that enveloped my life for the past three years. I’m definitely a scheduler – you should see my planner – so I miss knowing exactly how every day would be. I guess this year is a good experience in spontaneity, though it’s hard figuring out how to spontaneously plan out my days.
Who doesn’t love puppies?! If you’re not a puppy and/or dog person, then, I hate to break it to you, but there’s no way we could ever be friends. I’ve always been a dog person. I grew up around dogs, and I can’t imagine ever going through life without at least one by my side. That’s why I love Super Bowl Sunday. For me, it’s not Super Bowl Sunday – it’s Puppy Bowl Sunday.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Puppy Bowl is Animal Planet’s alternative to the standard Super Bowl game. Adoptable puppies who are looking for their forever homes are allowed to romp and play with each other on a set designed to look like a real football stadium, albeit much smaller. Hamsters “control” the blimp flying overhead as penguin cheerleaders excitedly watch from the sidelines. A human referee makes sure all of the puppies are playing nicely and not getting into too much trouble. Meep the Bird tweets (both literally and figuratively via Twitter) to keep his followers up to date on all of the action as the dogs “tail-” gaiting in the “barking” lot cheer on their favorite players. And – get excited, cat lovers – there’s even a kitty halftime show.
This year marked the tenth anniversary of the Puppy Bowl, and it was great. Not only was internet sensation Keyboard Cat the star of the kitty halftime show, but previous MVPs (Most Valuable Puppies) who’ve since been adopted were “interviewed” so audiences could meet their new families and see how they’ve been doing since their starring roles in their respective seasons of Puppy Bowl. I’m still giggling over how cute all of the animals were in today’s Puppy Bowl X, and I can’t wait to see what happens next year on Puppy Bowl XI!