Sigh...

Dec. 3rd, 2005 06:09 pm
stariel25: (mulitcolorstars)
Well, things are a bit better. I finally realized that when I really get down to do it, I do have a lot of stuff to do, but it's possible. I'm at lab at the moment and just finished setting up some experiments that I hope to have results for.

So the rest of my weekend (plus Monday):

1. Make slides for lab meeting talk on Tuesday (send to my boss tomorrow)
2. Write three proposal critiques (by Tuesday)
3. Knitting tomorrow afternoon, so I don't go nuts
4. Grade section problem sets, if possible

There's always a crunch at the end of the quarter/semester. Everything is going along at a fairly normal pace, but then all of a sudden everyone (instructors included) realizes that it's almost over - there's hardly any time left - and we have so much left to do!!!

And then I go nuts. Because I'm one of those people that spends more time worrying when there's so much to be done. I sit there, not accomplishing anything, thinking "I have so much to do, I'll never get it done in time!" when really I just need to do it.
stariel25: (HIM)
I saw these pumpkins downstairs and took these crummy photos on my camera phone in semi-darkness. Enjoy as much as you can. ;)

The Drosphila melanogaster

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A sperm and egg

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And now I'm heading out to go see Saves the Day!
stariel25: (blinkystar)
Well, quite a bit actually!

Today and yesterday are/were the Broad retreat. What's the Broad? Well, first off, it's not pronounced "brahd" it's "brohd" and it's where most (half?) of the people in my lab work. Yeah, the ones that don't work here at Harvard Med. And where is the retreat you ask... well, it's right here in my very own New Research Building. So I'm not retreating very far - just downstairs. As a result of this and the Monday holiday I'm getting just about 0 work done this week. Right now is a quick break between talks.

After hours the knitting is going quite well. This weekend (Friday night and Saturday) I'm heading to New York for the Rhinebeck festival (a sheep-y, yarn-y kind of thing) with some of the school knitting girls. I hope to wear my ever-so-fabulous cabled sweater which I am currently finishing the sleeve for. The knitting pressure is on!

In addition I am teaching genetics and wrangling 1st years on Friday afternoon as usual. Now envy me. ;)
stariel25: (nemo)
I've been doing some thinking lately.

Well mostly this evening. My day was actually quite full of giggly joy. I met Amanda (a 1st year student in my program, not one of the many other Amandas I know) at 10 this morning to go to a Columbus Day sale at a local yarn store. Harvard classes were cancelled for Columbus Day, because Massachusetts likes these kinds of holidays. We headed out to the store, had some interesting chats along the way about trying to find the way to Target. When we got there I immediately noticed the camouflage yarn. It comes in traditional camo, the blue camo, and "urban" camo (that's the black, white, and blue-grey one right?). Another knitter mentioned (or maybe I got the idea myself) that this would make an awesome multidirectional scarf so I decided to get some - but which one?

I like the blue better of course, but the regular would match my pants. I joked that maybe I should make a camo shrug (like a mini cardigan) to go with my camo pants, and Amanda thought it was hilarious. So did I. In fact I thought it was so hilarious that I decided to actually do it!

After yarn shopping Amanda and I headed back to Longwood to go to lab. I ran a gel, and headed home for some grading and relaxation.

Now back to the thinking. I just wish I was more sure about what I want in life... about everything. I make decisions when I'm forced to, and every other time I stall because I'm too afraid I'll make the wrong decision. I can't follow it down the road and know exactly what's going to happen. I guess that's the way it is. No one knows exactly what's going to happen and no one knows the future so there's always some uncertainty. I guess I just have to live with it.
stariel25: (blinkystar)
Today in lab I made a new program on the robot, and used it to set up a few plates. I realized a while ago that most of my LJ friends are not scientists, and probably don't have all that great of an idea of what we scientists do all day. You may remember the "one dot, two dots" post. Some of you may even think you have a cooler job than I do... but do you have a robot?

Here it is in action:

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I went to dinner seminar at 6 and did some knitting afterwards with the school-knitting-girls. I even finished the multidirectional scarf, which I posted about in the kitties and knitting post. I'm so accomplished!

And, on my way home, I saw something quite strange. At the intersection of two fairly busy streets a few blocks down from my house I saw a traffic light with the red light and the green light on at the same time! That was odd. I've never seen it before!

Also, not today but still important, I saw Mirrormask yesterday. For those of you who don't know, it's a movie written by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean and directed by Dave McKean. It was really good! Visually it was really stunning and beautiful, especially for the very low budget. The storyline was also very interesting and fairy tale-like in it's quest. I won't say any more because I hate it when people post lots of spoilers. Anyway, suffice it to say it was a very good movie and you should see it if you can.

Hopefully I'll see Serenity this weekend, because I really need to do that.
stariel25: (everafter)
Tomorrow I have my first actual day of teaching - leading a section. I hope my students are happy and that it goes well - I think it shall.

I've had a pretty crazy weekend, but I can't really tell more because I really must go to sleep so I can get up early in the morning!

Ack!

Sep. 29th, 2005 04:06 pm
stariel25: (legolas)
It has been a busy week. This semester I'm TAing for a graduate Genetics class. The one I took last year, actually. I'm also taking a class on proposal-writing.

I'm one of the organizers for Rotation Club. I'm sort of the new knitting group 'mommy'. I'm also the PCR goddess at lab and doing lots of lab work... like programming the robot and trying to get it to do my work for me, which is a bit time consuming and annoying but better than carpal tunnel. Yeah.

So I've had a crazy week and hardly done anything relaxing. I need a nap.

And this weekend is the Boston Knit Out - at which I am a volunteer. Oh, and two housewarming parties for people I know. :P
stariel25: (stari)
Harry Potter and the recessive allele

SIR — We are bombarded with news of genetic discoveries on an almost daily basis, but people without a formal knowledge of heredity and genetics can have difficulty in deciphering and applying this information. Education and debate across all ages would undoubtedly help, but how can we teach children these concepts?

We believe that successful lessons for younger children can be achieved using analogies of direct interest and relevance. Most children are familiar with J. K. Rowling’s stories about the young wizard Harry Potter (whose latest exploit, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was published by Bloomsbury in July). They are set in a world like our own, but populated by a minority of people with supernatural powers (wizards and witches) and a majority of people without (muggles).

Wizards or witches can be of any race, and may be the offspring of a wizard and a witch, the offspring of two muggles (‘muggle-born’), or of mixed ancestry (‘half-blood’)

This suggests that wizarding ability is inherited in a mendelian fashion, with the wizard allele (W) being recessive to the muggle allele (M). According to this hypothesis, all wizards and witches therefore have two copies of the wizard allele (WW). Harry’s friends Ron Weasley and Neville Longbottom and his arch-enemy Draco Malfoy are ‘pure-blood’ wizards: WW with WW ancestors for generations back. Harry’s friend Hermione is a powerful muggle-born witch (WW with WM parents). Their classmate Seamus is a half-blood wizard, the son of a witch and a muggle (WW with one WW and one WM parent). Harry (WW with WW parents) is not considered a pure-blood, as his mother was muggle-born.

There may even be examples of incomplete penetrance (Neville has poor wizarding skills) and possible mutations or questionable paternity: Filch, the caretaker, is a ‘squib’, someone born into a wizarding family but with no wizarding powers of their own.

We believe that, with the use of these examples, the concepts of mendelian genetics can be introduced to children as young as five, and then built on by gradually introducing specific terms such as ‘gene’ and ‘allele’, and relating these to chromosomes and DNA. At every stage, the children’s familiarity with the Harry Potter characters can be used as a hook to engage them in discussing concepts of heredity and genetics.


Jeffrey M. Craig*‡, Renee Dow†,
MaryAnne Aitken†‡
*Chromosome Research, Murdoch Childrens
Research Institute, Royal Childrens Hospital,
†Genetics Education, Murdoch Childrens
Research Institute, Royal Childrens Hospital,
‡Department of Paediatrics, University of
Melbourne, Royal Childrens Hospital,
Flemington Road, Parkville,
Victoria 3052, Australia


I have to say, overall a very good article. The science is solid, although it isn't quite traditional to use two letters for alleles of the same trait. It should be that M (muggle) is dominant and m (wizard) is recessive. Otherwise very cute - and an interesting idea!

My weekend

Sep. 12th, 2005 05:38 pm
stariel25: (legolas)
I've been talking so much about the new kitties I haven't even talked about my weekend!

OK, so here's the deal:

On Thursday evening [livejournal.com profile] chrssybr arrived in Boston from Philly and we got some Indian for dinner. We headed back to my place and watched some Frasier before bed.

Friday morning I headed to lab with her and set up a PCR. Then we went to Harvard Square for wandering and some lunch. Tres cool. We came back by lab to put the PCR in the fridge, went to happy hour, and then headed to my house. Brit came over and we all got dinner at Brown Sugar. It's a good Thai place just down the street that I'd never been to before but heard tons about. We all went back to my place and watched Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human. Well, at least Christina and I did, Brit slept through the whole thing. Brit went home and us girlies went to bed.

Saturday morning the kitties were dropped off. Then Christina and I hopped the commuter rail out to Salem to meet Brit. And that's where the pictures begin so here's your cut: The rest of the weekend is behind this cut! )
stariel25: (blinkystar)
Last night while talking to my mom I found out that the wedding I'm going to next weekend (for my cousin) is a little more formal than I thought. Which sent me on a quest to find a dress - something which is not as easy as it sounds.

Well, while my PCR was running in lab I headed over to the Cambridgeside Galleria where I tried on many dresses. More than 6. And then I found one that *drumroll please* fits all of my body at the same time! Wow, it's a miracle!

Then, to make the miracle even more miraculous I found some shoes. I'm set. I'm happy. This was a good shopping trip - and it took less than 3 hours from lab door to lab door.

:)

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