Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Starting Week 4

I forgot to mention that Sunday I met Barri Lusk finally! Her husband preached on sunday which was really cool too! They are the lead evangelists for Denver so they oversee the North and South and Denver Metro and Boulder regions! Barri and I had talked before I moved to Boulder so it was so nice to finally put a face with the name! She told me that Doug and Suzanne had talked to her that week about finding a way to get me to move here for grad school. That was incredibly encouraging! I've found that I fit here very easily and feel like I have a lot I can offer to the mission team here and so much to learn from all these people! It was nice to hear that I'm wanted here though! Miyokok was laughing because saturday she had d time with Suzanne and Suzanne told her that Miyoko's mission for the summer was to convince me to move to Boulder. She said that's what she's been trying to do for the past 3 weeks! She's great at it too! I honestly don't know wht I'm going to do when I have to leave her at the end of the summer! She's become an amazing friend and I'm so grateful that she's still here even though she's working in Denver!

Monday I came in and learned how to do a Western Blot! Elaine in the lab taught me all her secret techniques! I learned, basically, that you can screw up a western with every step of the process... and it takes an entire day to finish one. The good part however was that my first one turned out very nicely! She helped me with a lot of it so I learned a lot!

I also got to send out my new mutation samples for sequencing and should be getting them back sometime today! (wednesday)

Monday night we had our first women's bible talk for the summer! Miyoko did a great lesson on how Jesus exceeds all your expectations and Becca came nd brought her friend Angela! They were awesome girls who actually added great thoughts to the discussion so it went really well! Hopefully, Becca will be coming out to more stuff so that should be great!

Afterwards I went to hang out with Miyoko and her sister for a bit and then came back and taught some more people how to play NERTS!

Tuesday I was exhausted because we played NERTS til 1:30 in the morning. But I ran my first solo Western Blot! It turned out great! And when I showed it to Elaine she said I was now a Western expert and Art said we have a new lab standard for great westerns and that he would like for me to teach him how to do one! (crazy, I know!)

Tuesday night was pretty chill... I laid out for a little bit before dinner and then Rima and I went to the gym afterwards. We were there for almost 2 hours actually and it was quite fun! We came back and after showers watched some tv together and then passed out.

Today, Wednesday, I woke up early to get breakfast, and then came into the lab early. I was here before 8 which is crazy! I'm now preparing for my telomerase assay and waiting for my sequencing to come in! Hopefully, all the mutations ran well!

Week 3

So last week...

To start things off I was absolutely exhausted after going to Vail for the weekend!

Monday I started off by growing up the mutations that did work from the mutagenesis. There were only 3 out of the ten that worked and the wild type but it was enough to start moving with! I grew those up then tried out a mutagenesis with PCR product (something not normally done...) and then found out the reason it's not normally done is because it doesn't really work haha.

Tuesday was my day to maxi prep all my samples and to extract the plasmid from the cells. I let that run overnight. Monday and Tuesday nights were good nights of hang out time with the SMART kids! I taught Terrance and Rima how to play NERTS on Monday which then became a bigger game with Luis and Marvin added on Tuesday. It was pretty awesome!

Wednesday was my first day of working in the Tissue Culture lab by myself. It was really cool! Everything has to be very sterile so there's a lot of places that you could mess things up. And the tissue culture lab is on a strict time line so it's very important to move quickly but efficiently! On the first day I added my extracts for the telomerase to the human cells. I then worked on the PCR for the other 7 mutants that didn't work the first time.

Thursday I was done way early because I only had to transform the cells with the 7 mutations and trypsinize the human cells in the tissue culture lab. (You don't actually need to know what this means but it only took me 3 hours total for I was out at noon!) Art told me Thursday that I was actually very good in the tissue culture lab which was pretty exciting because most undergrads don't get to learn how to work in tissue culture!

After work Thursday I went to almost a 2 hour lunch and then laid out for a while! It was quite relaxing until the storm clouds rolled in. Miyoko came by and picked me up to take me to Target so I could get some groceries and stuff. Ryan got off work around 8:30 so we picked up and movie and ice cream and went to his place to watch it. They are a really fun couple and I'm not sure what I would do here without them!

Friday is when everything changed here! We've been meeting on Wednesday nights with the Boulder mission team which has been really awesome! The first week we talked about having a vision for your personal walk with God and having a vision for Boulder. Doug Baity made a great point about how people perish without vision. (I have to go back and look up the scripture where he got that from.) Week two we talked about love and being able to love unconditionally and being able to have expressive love. The group is a really cool group of people and reminds me so much of the mission team in Clemson! Wally and Sue Dague are an amazing couple that will be a great sheparding couple on the team. Sue swims... for real. She's preparing now for her second channel swim... but I don't remember which channel she's swimming across. She has a huge personality, a lot of wisdom, and she LOVES babies... she's almost always holding one. Her husband Wally is so cool. He's pretty quite a lot of the time but when he speaks you listen because it's full of wisdom and very insightful. He's also hilarious if you listen to him in a regular conversation and he holds Sue's hand all the time which is so cool to watch!
Doug and Suzanne Baity are leading the north region of Denver and spear-heading the Boulder team until Chris and Becky Clawson move here (they are the new campus leaders!) They are absolutely amazing and were around with Wally and Sue back in the glory days of Boulder. I'm looking forward to writing more about the different couples as I get to know them better!

The reason things changed is because Friday and about 2 it started pouring down rain... In Clemson, when I first moved it rained all the time and was kind of depressing actually. I talked to Stacey Robinson about it and she reminded me that when it rained in the old testament God was watering the hearts of the people. And it proved to be so true with the people in Clemson! So when I moved to Boulder for the summer... it never rained. Clouds rolled through but you got maybe a sprinkle here and there. So as I've been praying for the mission team in Boulder I've been praying for rain. Friday at 2 it started raining and it rained cold rain until Monday afternoon. Granted it was awesome to see God answering my prayer, but I had to remind myself of that when I was freezing and wet haha.

Because of that rain... when Miyoko and I went to her parents house on Saturday to hang out with her sisters she got a text message from a girl. This girl, Becca, was someone Miyoko had reached out to last school year and she was texting Miyoko to find out if we were having any kind of bible study over the summer. Miyoko looked at me and I said, " Well... we do now!" So we told her we were starting a women's bible talk on Mondays at 7pm on the lawn in front of my dorm! (more on that later)

Sunday we had a Luau and I got to meet more of the Denver Metro campus students which was nice. I also got to take a 3.5 hour nap which was awesome. I worked in the lab for 3 hours on saturday too so I was a little tired on Sunday!

All in all the week was very successful and set me up for a great fourth week of work!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Week 2

Wow!! Time surely flies by here! This past week was absolutely awesome! I'm actually getting some real work done in the lab! I sent out my first set of sequences on wednesday (sadly only 4 out of 11 actually worked) but that's more than zero!

Wednesday we had Boulder midweek with the group that is planting the Boulder church in the fall. Such a cool group of people! There are a few couples who were baptized in Boulder who are going to be sheparding the group! Amazing couples with really cool stories. The house we meet it is actually the house that the Boulder church started in many years ago so there's so much history here!

Thursday after a lot of reading in my lab time (since I was waiting for sequencing to come back) we had a group meeting where Andrea presented the data on her project. The background she gave was really helpful in helping me understand the goal of the lab as a whole. Then the three undergrads went out for lunch and talked which was pretty cool since it was out of the lab hang time.

Thursday night was really cool because the "singles" in the Boulder group went out to Scoot Carpenter park to play ultimate frisbee. It was a decent game and I was very proud that I held my own running in this altitude! It was then that I knew I was ready for Vail haha.

Friday after aligning a ton of sequences and after Tom School where we go over a paper that all the undergrads read... I packed to go camping in Vail, CO. Might I say camping in Colorado at this time is spectacular!!! It got down to ~40 but I had layers and a great sleeping bag/pad so I slept really well! We couldn't get a fire going because the wood was kind of wet and we think we were trying to burn Aspen (not easy.) But the stars were amazing. I've never seen so many stars in my entire life. They were everywhere!

The sun woke me up at 7:00 when it started to get hot and we were in Vail village by about 9:45. The Teva Mountain games were going on and I mainly watched the Bouldering events. SO cool. These people are ridiculously strong and quite competitive! I also racked up on free stuff because there were a ton of vendors there for the 1000's of people at the games!

In total, I ended up with 4 hats, 3 t shirts, 2 bags, 2 magazines, climbing chalk, a towel, and a free Jansport back pack that I won in a raffle! All in all I would say it was very productive!

Sunday, d group with the girls was great and Doug preached a great lessons on Josiah's faith. It was really cool. Then Sunday night Miyoko and Ryan and I went to Denver to celebrate Ryan's birthday with some people there. I haven't had so much fun out at a dinner with a group of people in a while. It was an awesome group and we were having such a great time that we ended up staying an hour after the restaurant closed (not on purpose though).

So now I'm back in the lab for week 3! We have no AC and it's in the 90's today so it's a little overwhelming. I am getting to try my own version of mutagenesis with a different template so if it works I'll be pretty proud! Tonight a group of SMART program students are going ice skating at the rec center after dinner which should be a cool ending to a long day!