Friday, July 2, 2010

"Knight and DNA"

As the second week of our program comes to a close, I am already getting nostalgic for our first days here at Brown. The humid weather, the hordes of strangers, the confusing campus are all behind us now. But the longer we stay here, it seems to me that everything that I complained about in the beginning is no longer a large issue. Sure, our dorms may seem spartan still, but over time I've become adjusted and accommodated, to the point where I don't mind the dorms, and I realize that it's actually kind of spacious, but bare. I like the cafeteria food now, although that may be only because I will eat anything when hungry. The campus is still confusing, but I use that as a reason to go adventure and explore the campus further, and to familiarize myself with the campus setting. I must admit, that when we leave next week, I shall be very sad. I am enjoying my three weeks here at Brown so far, and I'm sure that I'll miss this place afterward.

--Hallowed Halls of Brown--
Today, in my DNA-Based Biotechnology class, we worked on Polymerase Chain Reactions. I volunteered to be one of three team captains to arrange the chain reactions and to do the gel electrophoresis. As one of the team captains, it was my job to collect everyone's DNA to add the primer, which allows for further amplification of the selected DNA segment, which was TPA for me. Then, after adding primer I set up the DNA into a cycle to promote replication of the selected segment. It was a lengthy cycle, with 45 cycles of three one-minute periods, so in total it took about two and a half hours to complete. Once that finished, I loaded up all of the DNA into a gel to prepare it for gel electrophoresis. Although the whole process was lengthy and time consuming, I'm glad that I volunteered to do this, because it was good practice, and also because I realized how much I liked doing this kind of research and experimentation. Although I'm far from decided, I could consider majoring in biotechnology, because this class has made me interested in this new and developing field.

--Providence Place Mall--
After class, we went to the Providence Place Mall. We first went to stock up on entertainment for tomorrow's trip to Dartmouth. We settled upon some movies, and then went to watch the movie "Knight and Day". I liked the movie, and although the plot was nonsensical, it was a great way to relax after a week of intensive research and hard work.

--Nighttime in Providence--
To finish off the evening, we visited the Talent Show competition, which was very exciting, There was an amazing girl playing violin, many talented singers, and most importantly, Andrew performing with the Brown Notes! They sounded terrific, and I'm glad that I went to support all of my fellow students who have the courage and the talent to perform in front of an audience of their peers.

Tomorrow, we shall visit Dartmouth! I'm excited, because I've heard a lot about it, but I really don't know much about it. I guess I shall find out tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Austin,

    Your photo of the dorm hallway reminds me of when I stayed in a dorm at Cal. we had lengthy hallways much like in your photo.

    After supper--instead of cracking the books--we would play a game of frisbee. The idea was that one person would be at each end of the hall and we would have to toss the frisbee to the other guy. Sounds easy enough except that the rules said that the frisbee couldn't hit the walls, floor or ceiling.

    That's tough enough considering the distance was about 150+ feet. What made it really tough, though was that so many of the dorm room doors were open and often they had their windows open. This created unexpected drafts that would alter the course of the frisbee.

    Of course, gambling would be involved as well as concurrent consumption of spirits and other mind altering substances.

    Young people of today wouldn't know how to play such a game. Today's youth wouldn't know what to do if they didn't have a controller in their hands and could see their handiwork on the big screen.