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Saint Louis

Despite the fact that I was born in Saint Louis and grew up only 45 minutes from the city (on the Illinois side), I never really got to know Saint Louis until I started at Fontbonne.

After adjusting to transferring to Fontbonne, I started to explore Saint Louis more than I had before.  I’ve finally realize how much this city has to offer, and I’m loving it!  Here are some of my favorite things about Saint Louis:

The Concerts

Saint Louis has a TON of concert halls, so it’s perfect for music lovers.  I’ve been to more concerts and music festivals than I can count, in Saint Louis, since the age of 14.  A few of the concert halls in the area include: The Pageant, The Fabulous Fox, Peabody Opera House, The Firebird, and Off Broadway.  The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater also holds many bigger concerts or music festivals.  

The Food

I wish I could stay I’ve been to, even a fraction, of the restaurants in the Saint Louis area- unfortunately I have not.  What I can say,  is that whatever type of food you love is almost guaranteed to be in found in Saint Louis!  Sauce Magazine is a great source for places to try in Saint Louis (Fontbonne usually has this magazine in the front doorway of the library if you want to check it out).  I also love the checking out Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s when I need to stock my fridge with healthy options.

The Variety

This applies to Saint Louis overall.  Coming from Southern Illinois, variety wasn’t exactly what I grew up with.  A variety of culture, food, people, traditions, and beliefs is refreshing.  This semester I’m diving into things I’ve never been exposed to before.  I will be visiting a Buddhist temple for my World Religions class and writing a paper on my experience.  In my Food Pathways of Diverse Groups I will be cooking foods from different religions and cultures around the world all semester long.  Sometimes it can be hard to tackle new experiences head on, but I believe it’s one of the best things a person can do to be a well-rounded, culturally-sensitive person.  Learn something new every day!

 

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Back in high school, about a year before I had this huge revelation that I was meant to major in biology instead of in English and communications in college, I had an awesome biology teacher who gave us various fun assignments that were meant to help us figure out major concepts. One such assignment was a brochure in which we had to relate cellular organelles to some sort of organization. Being the, shall we say “eccentric,” person that I am, I decided to relate the cell to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Oompa Loompas were the lysosomes that clean up the factory floors and keep the factory in tip-top shape. The chocolate waterfall was the mitochondria, constantly churning and producing energy. Willy Wonka himself was the nucleus; he knew all of the recipes that made all of the delicious sweet delicacies and all of the information about how to make the factory run. As you can see, I had a little bit of fun with this project.

Since the Cardinals’ win over the LA Dodgers last night in the National League Championship Series, I keep thinking about how Saint Louis resembles a cell as well. As Dr. Sheldon Cooper says in one episode of “The Big Bang Theory” to which I can easily relate since I don’t like football at all, “Football is ubiquitous in Texas.” I’d definitely say that baseball is ubiquitous here in Saint Louis. Busch Stadium is always packed with people for games, tours, and photo opportunities. Even after a loss, you can still hear people in the stands shouting, “Let’s Go, Cardinals!”

So how, do you ask, does this relate to the cellular model? Well, for starters, since I realized that baseball is “ubiquitous” in Saint Louis, I related the word “ubiquitous” with the protein “ubiquitin,” which, by its very name, indicates that it’s present nearly everywhere in the cell. I also thought about ubiquitin’s role in immunology; in immuno class, we recently talked about how ubiquitin protein tags certain cellular proteins for destruction during the process of macrophage activation. Going back to the overall cellular model, then, we could say that the Arch grounds are like the nucleus because, being located right along the Mississippi River, they sort of form the blueprint for what Saint Louis is, was, and will become. Busch Stadium (especially during Red October) would serve as the mitochondria, producing energy that powers the city and all of its inhabitants (figuratively speaking, of course!). Forest Park, the crowned jewel of Saint Louis, would be like the cytoskeleton that binds Saint Louis together by bringing together all Saint Louisans for nice weather, picnics, and trips to The Muny, Zoo, and Science Center.

So here’s to a World Series that will act as a mitochondrial energy source for this great city until the 2014 baseball season begins.


Click here to read about my personal experiences at Game 7 of the 2011 World Series!!

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