Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm about as stoked for finals as a little kid is about having brussel sprouts for dinner

Oh boy.

Thanksgiving break is coming to a close and finals are knocking at the door.

Actually, that was the UPS guy with a package.

But finals really is... right around the corner. I am not particularly excited about this. I was pretty lazy this Thanksgiving break, which might be because I went home extremely early. Now I have to get my high tail into gear and crank out these finals.

First on my list is finishing a long paper, maybe 15-20 pages, on malaria in Africa for my Ecology of Infectious Diseases course. That's a group project, along with the group presentation that's being given during the last week of classes. On a side note, I really don't like having presentations and such due before the exam period, because this means I have several projects going at once with different due dates. By having everything due during exam time, it means things are less cluttered.

This coming week I have just a mini project to start and finish for Thursday. This mini project, for Population Genetics, is going to be worth more trouble than it's work for the grade. However, I'm hoping it'll serve as good practice for the final exam, so I'll crank it out.

But next week is when things start getting a little hairy. The week of December 6th-10th is the last week of classes, and I have to give a presentation and turn in a mock research proposal for Ecology of Infectious Diseases and Population Genetics respectively. That weekend starts a three day period of reading days, which are class/exam-free days in which everyone uses to study and prepare for exams or write papers/wrap up projects.

The following week is the last week of the semester, which in when things really start buckling down. Quite often, professors will have final group presentations given in the final week of classes to allow the exam days to be used for, well, exams.

Thankfully my French class will be ending in a take home exam. That'll be much easier than studying for an exam given during the dreaded exam days.

A little scatter-brained, but that's the best I have for right now. Well, what do you expect? It's finals!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fall Fest, Finals & Beyond (It's like to infinity & beyond, but I'm not a plastic toy)

Ohhhhhkay! So here's this video I made:

It's an update from the past two weeks, so check it out! I'll be back here in the next few days with a written entry. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween update!

I finished my Fall Fest poster. Very yes! I got it professionally printed, and it stands at a whopping 36 by 48 inches. It's pretty impressive.

Tomorrow is Fall Fest. I'm to present from 2-4PM which turns out to be very tragic for me. Also at 2PM tomorrow is when my beloved study abroad director from Australia is visiting. A complete chance event I will miss. However, I hope to get dinner with him tomorrow evening. I really do not like the structure/syntax of this paragraph. Moving on!

Below is my latest YouTube video, in which I talk about finishing up my Fall Fest poster and shooting a parkour video, which I also put on YouTube.

I also uploaded some recent fall pictures on campus, which you can find on my PhotoBucket.

With Fall Fest this week and out of the way, I have several weeks left of lab time before Thanksgiving Break. After Thanksgiving Break is the notorious start of Finals crunch, which I'll talk about below. I hope to get my diatom cells transformed with the plasmids I made. In order to do that, we'll have to visit colleagues in Rhode Island who have the tools to inject plasmids into diatoms. Diatoms are not supposed to have additional DNA plasmids in their cells, which is why it's hard to transform them.

Other than that, I'll need to summarize what I've done in a paper and write a proposal for my future directions in this project. I'll need to do a lot more background reading to cite different examples and experiments. I'll start writing after Thanksgiving Break, which might be the end of my lab work for the semester. However, depending on where I am at in the project, I might be able to do some catching up in the evenings while I'm doing finals.

I'm a little unsure about my finals for two classes at this point. We're way behind in my French class and have yet to be given an exam. I think we might have a take home "midterm" exam and maybe a take home final exam, but we haven't discussed it yet. I'm also not sure about my final exam in my Population Genetics class.

I just started my final project in Ecology of Infectious Diseases. My project load never ends. For the first part of the semester, I was busy with finishing my plasmids, but then midterms hit me. First it was my Ecology of Infectious Disease take home midterm which was a lot of work, but that was rewarded with a long weekend at home. ...but then when I came back to Clark I had to work on my Population Genetics take home midterm. After I finished that midterm, I had to complete my Fall Fest poster. All I want to do is have a long restful weekend at home for Thanksgiving before a crazy three weeks of finals in December. We'll see how that all goes though.

Oh, and I'm signing up for Spring 2011 classes soon. I always forget how messy the semester gets from the start of midterms onwards.