Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 6, 7, 8 The Long Weekend

So I have officially been in Boulder for a week now. And the weekend was amazing! Miyoko and Crystyna picked me up on Saturday to go to the mall and do some shopping. I didn't buy anything but I did end up with a free Godiva Rewards Membership. (If you like free chocolate once a month you should definitely do this!) We then went to Noodles and Company which I had never been to before and I had some amazing Mac and cheese! After that was a target run. I had to get a ton of stuff for my dorm room including sheets and a pillow, and stuff like that (Thank you Emily for the SUPER helpful giftcard!) That night I saw Robin Hood with Miyoko and her boyfriend Ryan and that turned out to be a pretty good movie.

Sunday was awesome! We had women's d group before church and man was it nice to sit down with some disciple women. I forgot what a relief it was to spend time with disciples when you're the only disciple on a campus. Suzanne Beaty leads the North Denver Region and our d group and she was working the Boulder recruitment for grad school. There is such a cool parallel to the Clemson mission team here. There used to be a campus ministry in Boulder of 200 students with a Boulder church that had about 600 people. About 100 of those students went into the ministry. Just like Clemson... except Clemson was on a much smaller scale. So right now they are planning the kick off for the Boulder mission team to start in August! They just hired new campus leaders who will be here in July and midweeks will now be in Boulder for people who will be on the team! I'm so excited to get to be here for the planning of this team but it definitely pulls at my heart strings to hear about all of it starting!

I got to talk to Veronique for a while that night which was amazing and long over due! I walked all the way to The Hill (35 min from my hotel and across campus) so I scoped out the area some before I walked back home.

Today was really cool! I moved onto campus which is absolutely amazing! The pictures on this post are of the entry way to my dorm and then the zoom view of the mountains from the entry way. I then got to meet a lot of the SMART Colorado students because they all got here today so I'm super grateful that there are finally more people to hang out with! This evening I got to go to a park down the street and hike some on the mountains... AMAZING.. and it'll probably be my new prayer spot. Then explored some more of the Hill to find some good eating places!

All in all a very great break and tomorrow I get to continue my project in the lab, go to Radiation Safety class, and then meet TOM CECH!! I'm super excited about that!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day Four and Five- I'm definitely here to learn something

So my prayer has been that God would put the stepping stones in my path to lead me on a straight path that I can't miss. I'm finding that I'm supposed to get a lot more out of this summer than an amazing research experience.

I had an incredibly helpful conversation with one of the post docs, Andrea, in the lab yesterday. She gave me some amazing tips about how to pick a grad school and what to look for. Then today I had another conversation with a different post doc, Jacob, who is interested in teaching as well and he was just as helpful! Dr. Cech's lab is full of people with great advice to pass along. Elaine takes the time to super explain the project I'm working on and answer any questions I have about the big picture. Art is my advisor in the lab and I'm grateful that he lets me follow him around and learn from his every move.

He gave me a paper to read that further explains the project I'm working on. It's so cool to see how Dr. Cech looks at the whole picture of a project and the connection it makes to society. I can't write about it on here but I'm so excited about how everything can come together!

The other benefit to being here is that there is an awesome group of people in the church for me to learn from. Suzanne Beaty is in the north region and will be leading our d group on sunday mornings, Barri Lusk has walked me through so much of what is going on in Denver/ Boulder right now and I don't think I'd get anywhere without Miyoko Kim this summer. I'm really looking forward to getting to know all these women and so many more people this summer!

I'm off to eat now but will be sleeping in tomorrow because I don't have to get up at 7 to go to lab! Yay Saturday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day Three- The project begins!

So I actually got to do some work today which was very exciting! I had to be in the lab at 8 (it'll take me a while to adjust to that actually!)

Last night I had dinner at the restaurant in my hotel. It was a pretty cool place because they have live Blues music almost every night. However eating alone is not preferable. I had something called a Bo burger which is actually a cheeseburger with a fried egg on top. Very tasty if I do say so myself. And everyone can be surprised because I finished the entire burger and all the fries in record time. (my guess is that was because I was very hungry and had no one to talk to! haha)

Today my day started of in a tissue culture lab watching Art Zaug (my advisor in the lab) grow human kidney cells with certain amounts of telomerase. Pretty cool, and I have orientation for using this lab next week!

I then finally got to pick up a pipette! (Feel free to pick on me for that statement)
I got to put together PCR reactions for the mutations I'm working with. I was only supposed to do the six original ones and save the other 5 for tomorrow but I'm staying later to work on the other 5 so I can move this project along quickly!

I forgot how much down time there was in a lab when you're first starting a project. Since I don't have multiple things to be working on right now, I have to wait for things to run. (Today the record time is a 4 hour wait!)

Tomorrow I'll get to start transforming cells with my mutations and finish up to digestion of my last 5 PCRs.

For anyone who would like to write me you can send mail or packages ;) to:

Kristina Kesel
SMART Program
University of Colorado-Boulder
347 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0347

Tonight, I'm meeting up with Miyoko, the former intern in the Boulder campus ministry, to go to midweek! Hopefully that'll give me a good chance to meet some people!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day Two- I've actually learned something in college

Today was a different kind of day for me. I woke up feeling super sick still and have had so much water to drink you wouldn't believe! I walked straight to the lab this morning and didn't get lost like yesterday.

- I think it's a requirement for me to get lost for an hour in a new place. It happened in Clemson too!-

I spent seven hours on campus today and didn't touch a single pipette or flask. I spent the day observing and taking notes. It was different than my typical lab experience. I should get to start on my project tomorrow morning which will be awesome!! I was pretty excited today though because I followed every conversation that took place. I knew what everyone in the lab was referring to and could actually ask relevant questions. It was nice to know that I've learned enough not only in research but also in the class room to actually hold my ground in a lab!

The people in the lab are incredibly nice. And everyone smiles all the time! A little different from what you might expect right??

I have an incredibly early day tomorrow (early for me that is) so I'm heading to bed!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day One- Getting to Boulder

So I rode my first jet today. The flights flew by but it was weird getting to Denver at almost the same time I left Cincinnati. The Denver airport was HUGE and a little confusing but eventually I figured it out.

A senior staff scientist from the lab picked me up at the airport and drove me to my hotel to drop my stuff off and then to the lab to check things out. The hotel is a super hippy hotel but seems like it'll be a really chill place to live for a week. It is all the way across campus from my lab though and I don't know exactly how to get back but I have a map so it'll be my first adventure.

Everyone I met in the lab today was really nice. There is one other undergrad and he's been working in the lab for two weeks already so we won't be at the same place with our projects. The stuff I'll be doing will be an extended look at the processes I already use in Sehorn's lab. Except, I'm starting at the very beginning by creating my own mutations in this gene and then all the way on to expression of the respective proteins. Luckily the middle stuff I have a little bit of experience in.

Sadly, I won't get to meet Tom Cech until next week because he is out of town but apparently I get a two hour meeting with him to do introductions so I'm looking forward to that!

I have now finished my lunch and am going to make my way back to my hotel in order to try to take a nap. I've already been up for 12 hours today and it's only 2:00pm here! I got the scoop on the most "Boulder representative" places to go so I might check some of them out!

I'm also going to give Miyoko, the intern who used to work in the Boulder campus ministry a call today to let her know I'm in town and maybe we'll get to meet up then!

And so begins the adventure...