Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brown Battle Scars

I badly needed a break from "The Central Paper." Albeit fascinating in its findings, this eighteen page treatise on nature versus nature (i.e. the epigenetic implications from methylation studies of the GCP gene expression altered the environmental trigger of maternal care, translated into elevated HRA stress response in abused suicide victims) gave the class headaches.

Our job was to analyze the figures, interpret the data based on the experimental findings, and draw conclusions about the experiment's design. Jody has emphasized that she doesn't expect us to pick up and immediately comprehend a professional research paper of this level. On the other had, this practice will play a part in our final presentation next Friday. I've provided a preview of the thrill ahead of us.

The day couldn't be all work and no play. As newbies to the fun field of Frisbee (as of yesterday) our study group inevitably was challenged to duel this morning. The black-clad Ninjas faced off against Brown grads led by our class TA, Colby. It amazes me how an aspiring cardiologist headed to med school at Tufts would be interested in spending time tossing Frisbee with high school kids. We, of course, got more than we bargained for. 

"Collegiate Ultimate" as Colby calls it, gets intense. I dove several feet in the air and landed on a biochemistry major's legs to save a pass, double-teamed and intercepted a guy who works at the Brown card office, got totaled by a flying frisbee straight in the face, and now wear my bruised nose of a battle scar proudly.

Nothing bonds people like sweat and blood. I might be having too much fun at Brown. It's true that I find myself connecting with these brilliant teenagers from across the world. Regardless of our backgrounds, private versus public institution, socioeconomic conditions, or life obstacles, I also find myself just as able to compete with them (despite being from a district many deem disadvantaged, I'm the only student in our class get to a Calculus BC class by junior year) as able to play Frisbee and have a good time with them. Our incredible differences and diversity are things to celebrate, while the environment at Brown brings us together.

As serious about winning as we are about glucocorticoid gene expression.

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