As if I knew the secret to that (if anyone does, please inform me). This week is gearing up to be (and has been) particularly crazy. On top of my packed schedule (balancing class, labs, work, and extracurriculars), I have three (three!) tests to study for.
The first is in General Bacteriology, which details the morphologies, physiology/metabolism, diversity, and ecological importance of various prokaryotic organisms. The next is in Organic Chemistry I, which examines compounds containing carbon (it’s a lot more complicated than it sounds). My final test is in Molecular Cell Biology, which is your basic biology class on steroids, focusing on the cell’s structure and function at the micro scale. Individually, all of these classes are fascinating but whenever their tests run into the same week, my life becomes an exercise in time (and stress) management.
There are times when I wonder how my fellow students and I balance it all. Being a Millsaps student is a diverse experience; a typical schedule can have you going to class, performing a recrystallization of an organic compound for lab, then working out in the HAC, then learning sign language, and then passing legislation in the school senate (all in the span of a day). While sometimes I feel exhausted, I know that doing all of these things is helping me to become a more well-rounded, responsible person that will (hopefully) be ready to greet the real world.
On a more fun note, I just got out of my bacteriology lab and got some cultures back after a week of incubation. Our goal was to isolate individual bacteria in a mixed culture using various dispersion techniques. The first is a picture of three streaks: one a radiant streak, the other two quadrant streaks (try to guess which ones are which!). The second shows three cultures made using the pour-plate method, which basically dilutes the mixed culture until one gets only a few bacteria (which replicate and make those large dots). Cool stuff!