It is 2:30 and I already stained my neurons and nail-polished them to glass coverslips (yes, we use some high-tech tools in modern cell biology), but I can’t go home yet because I have 7.31 at 3:00 in the Whitehead Center for Biomedical Research. So I’m a) alleviating boredom, b) avoiding starting my 5.60 pset (due Friday), and c) brightening your lives, many of which are probably consumed by watching for your friendly neighborhood postal worker.
To those of you, I bring item #6 from the yellow To-Do Post-It stuck to my computer screen: Deep breaths. (Items #1-5 are probably less useful to you.)
I just have some mishmash to write about today, so hopefully no one is looking for a grand unified theme.
First, I would like to rejoice about an incident that happened yesterday. So I had a test today in 9.15 (Biochemistry/Pharmacology of Synaptic Transmission), a comprehensive 1.5-hour not-really-but-sort-of final. I was super-stressed about it because I kind of zoned out for several lectures and didn’t take very good notes, and the tests in that class have a heavy emphasis on the nitty-gritty, and so if you don’t learn everything, you could be screwed. I went to bed Monday night and couldn’t fall asleep because I was worried about the test. And I had a bad dream about neurotransmitters, and then another bad dream about rats getting out of their cages and crawling into the pockets of my lab coat. (I work with mice, and I love them. Rats are much larger and toothier than lab mice, and as such they kind of give me the creeps.)
So I walked into the test Tuesday morning about two minutes late, stressed and worried and not terribly well-prepared. And the TA waves at me, says “Bye-bye!”, and points to the board, on which is written “Students Exempt from the Test” and a list of names. And sure enough, my name was up there!
Moral of the story: Writing very good midterm papers (mine was on dopamine receptor genetics) and doing well on the first test can sometimes be a very good thing at the end of term.
Second, I would like to rejoice that Professor Gertler told our 7.31 (Current Topics in Mammalian Biology) class that the MIT biology program is doing away with its “no inbreeding” policy — previously, MIT undergrads weren’t accepted into the biology PhD program. The change in policy is effective immediately, meaning that I have the opportunity to apply to MIT’s biology program (ranked #2 in USNWR). This gets a giant “hurray” from me.