Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heat, Heat Come Again

Today we finally got a feel for summer weather in Providence. The weather forecast for today detailed temperatures reaching 90 degrees and humidity above 60%. Although the morning was relatively mild, I knew what we were in for later—a sweltering hot and humid day. Being on the highest floor in the building, I grabbed anything I thought I would need as to minimize any necessary return trips, turned on my fan, and got out of there.

In class today, we went over our lab procedures and results from yesterday.  Ms. Hall had some suggestions regarding our lab technique, and ways to ensure more reliable results. After a well-placed break, she introduced several “new” concepts and lab techniques. I won’t go into detail, but since we will be using restriction enzymes and gel electrophoresis to map out restriction sites in our lab tomorrow, we spent more time going over those areas. What I really like about the class so far is its overall flexibility and philosophy of independent learning. Ms. Hall wants us to be able to make mistakes on our own, to develop an ability to adapt to new challenges. She also told us that the more effort we put in, the more we will get out of the class, and it’s just up to us to do so.

Inside the Bio-Med building had been so cool and air-conditioned to the point where I was shivering. Walking out of the building, I was overwhelmed by an enormous heat draft, and my body struggled to transition between the two extremities. After lunch, Taylor, David, and I decided the bookstore would be the most ideal place to spend the time before our rendezvous with Ms. Kaplan. In the store, we were all able to accomplish a lot.

Today we were scheduled to meet with Ms. Kaplan at 3 PM on Thayer St. Although it had only been three days since we last saw her, it felt like a very, very long time. It seems like we’re already becoming accustomed to life here at Brown. Our cohort reunited at Starbucks, where we had a chance to catch up with each other and share experiences over the past few days. Ms. Kaplan has been touring more colleges. So far, she has been to Boston College, Boston University, and Connecticut, and told us about the new things she learned out there. After a pleasant chat with her we scheduled another meeting on Saturday for Waterfire.

Throughout the day we were constantly seeking refuge from the brutal sun and humid heat outside. Fortunately, all of the buildings at Brown have air-conditioning, even the Grad centers. After exploring more of the campus in the sun, we decided that the best place to hold another study session would be back at the Grad E building fitness center. It actually turned out to be a great environment for studying, and we worked for two hours before heading to the VDubb for dinner. After dinner we spent some time exploring various and interesting shops on Thayer before retiring to the dorms.

While I’m here at Brown is a great opportunity to work on managing my time. It’s amazing how much free time we have every day. With class lasting only from 9 AM-12 PM (3 hours) daily, the rest of the time is our own. Coupled with the fact that a whole week’s worth of homework is due on Sunday means I really need to be able to effectively divide my time between homework, blogging, socializing, and fun activities. As I adjust to life on campus, I plan to establish a backbone routine to follow most of the time so I don’t feel lost or have no clue as to what to do with the time I am given.

Despite my complaining about the weather, I’ve found that I can deal with the heat surprisingly well. Tomorrow temperatures will be even higher, but I look forward to the day nonetheless.

1 comment:

  1. Isn’t it amazing what we can become accustomed to? The heat is brutal but you’re telling us you’re starting to get used to it. But--and be truthful here--wouldn’t you rather have the 59 degrees we have here right now?

    I see that it’s supposed to be cooler and overcast in Providence on Friday so maybe you’ll get a little relief

    I’m glad that you’re grasping the concept of time management but it concerns me when you refer to your UNSCHEDULED time as “free”. They’re not the same. This is time where you don’t have scheduled classes but it’s intended to be used to study, do homework and prepare for your classwork. It’s still work but it’s outside of your scheduled class time.

    I find it truly amazing, Ying-An, that today you were working with restriction enzymes and gel electrophoresis. That’s EXACTLY what I was working on in my kitchen earlier today. I’m betting your equipment was better than mine. I got mine on sale at K-Mart.