Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Picture Perfect Day

--Beautiful Weather at Brown--
Today, we had the best weather we've had all program long. The sky was a brilliant sapphire blue, with smears of white clouds. The wind blew steady and strong, and the shimmering sun basked us in its bright rays. There was no humidity, and the temperature was just right: not too hot, not too cold. It was, in every way, the perfect day.

As I woke up today I felt a twinge of apprehension. For my DNA-Based Techniques in Biotechnology class, we needed blood samples to obtain pure DNA for today's lab.

--Test tube soon to be filled up with my blood--
When I went into the Health Services building to get my blood drawn, my fears were immediately put aside when I saw how professional and experienced the nurses were. Even though they seemed to be seasoned veterans at nursing, it still took them two times to hit my vein for blood. After they collected my blood, I went to eat breakfast at the Ratty with a few of my fellow DNA students, where we had the opportunity to discuss our progress in the class. Unsurprisingly, most of the other students are all very interested in DNA and I really enjoyed talking to them about a sophisticated subject in a way that most people will not ever understand or want to comprehend.

After breakfast, I headed to class, where we purified our DNA by stripping away parts of the blood that we didn't need: the plasma, the red blood cells, and parts of the white blood cells. In the end, we had a small vial of our own DNA that we are incubating for experimentation tomorrow. The laboratory experiments are very fun, and I'm glad that even though they are complicated and rather convoluted at times, they are not necessarily difficult because the lab book explains all of the steps very precisely and clearly. In addition, our teacher is very knowledgeable and she takes a hands-off approach to teaching, so she lets us learn from our mistakes and experiences before teaching us the principles behind the labs.

After class, Will, Andrew, and I went to the debate workshop. It was a fun experience, as I haven't debated for a few months, and I needed the practice. We debated about whether everybody is a little bit racist. It was an intense debate, and I'm glad that I decided to go practice.

--List Art Center--

--Unfinished Art Work--
Afterwards, I went to explore the campus with the other ILC students. When I first saw the List Art Center, I was immediately drawn to it by its unique design. It is an art building, and houses the David Winton Bell Gallery. The coolest part about the gallery is that it focuses on art in all forms of the media. Six to eight exhibitions are displayed every year, and I hope that an exhibition happens during my time here at Brown. When I visited today, the center was already closed, but it seemed like there was a work in progress on the floor, uncompleted. Hopefully, I shall get the chance to see the art in its full glory before I leave Brown.

From there, we went to dinner, where I had dinner in the Ratty. There was a delicious Orange Delight Cake, and I have to say, the food here seems to be improving.

--View Down Providence River--
After dinner, William and I went for a stroll around all of Providence. We strolled from Keeney Quad (our dorms) to Thayer Street, where all of the small college stores and shops are located. From Thayer Street, we walked to Waterplace Park, and watched the sun set behind the City Hall of Providence. Unfortunately, I had neglected to recharge my camera, and it was at this point when my camera sadly gave out. But nonetheless, we visited the Providence Court House, and then finally returned home to our dorms.

I think that one of the things I treasure most about this experience is the ability to roam anywhere I want and the ability to have so much freedom entrusted in me, so that I can explore Providence. I've learned through exploring Providence that I really do like this city, and I can imagine being here after this summer program.


  1. Austin,

    Is this the same guy who was writing a few days ago about becoming sedentary and gaining weight because of the ice cream sundaes? And now you write about the Orange Delight cake? I hope you notice that you didn't write anything about the actual dinner fare.

    And shame on you, Austin, for allowing your camera batteries to go dead on you. Have you forgotten your real purpose for being at Brown? :-)

    Isn't it nice being in a university town where you can walk around in a collegiate atmosphere? Usually it's a far different setting than the suburbs or even regular city living. There are arts centers, museums, shops, book stores, and lost of young people with a slightly higher intelligence than you might find elsewhere. It's kind of nice.

  2. Yes, the weight is coming fast and steady, but I might as well enjoy it while it lasts. I can always exercise at home, but I can't always have unlimited soft serve!

    My camera died on me the moment I needed it the most. But the good thing is that I'll be sure to never let that happen again!

    I really enjoy being Providence, because there is always somewhere to have an adventure, always a place to explore, and always people to meet. It's a nice town.