26 April 2007

One more year down, one left to go

It's that time of the year again, when I get more sleep than usual--for brain power--and spend my days camped out with all of my relevant belongings in the engineering study tower (I like it here better; the library scares me during finals). It's always a little fun, having half of my possessions spread out on a table, having an excuse to wear pajamas all day, and going on snack hunts every three hours.

Oh, but there are also these things called 3 hour tests on everything I've learned in the past 5 months. The process isn't so fun, but at the end I always feel like I've accomplished something substantial (that is, if I studied well and actually retained the info).

Waiting for that feeling, in a week + a few days from today, when I will feel free~
And also waiting for that IRB approval, so that I can actually go to China. What happens if I already have a ticket to go / already made plans with a homestay and the people at the research site, and I don't get approved to do research? Crap.

10 April 2007

Kelley is going to China.

And is very, very excited. =)

08 April 2007

Bored with work.

I'm bored with this semester. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I've learned is how to pull an argument out of thin air when I've only done half the reading, how to use a gazillion functions on my computer that I never wanted to use, and how to convert units from cgs to SI. I'm not even sure if I can do the latter.

Hoping that next semester I might learn something productive. I'm excited for my independent study to start, but also apprehensive that I'll just be completely lost without constant guidance. There is such a huge leap between introductory courses, where the TA holds your hand in every step, to the higher level courses where you're expected to take off on your own without breaking anything. Just like I went from learning the basics of a molecular orbital one semester, to having this thing called a Schrodinger equation thrown at me with variables that I've never seen before in the next. I assume this discrepancy will only feel larger when I graduate and have to figure out medical/graduate school on my own.

Only a few more weeks to go before I can do something interesting.
Happy Easter!

05 April 2007

Pharmacology and the Stomach Flu

I've come down with yet another (and nastier) bug - the stomach flu! I'm less excited about this than the exclamation point indicates. So, I thought I'd share some more great ways to take care of yourself when you are sick in your dorm room and your mom isn't around to sing you to sleep.

From my roommate: 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (no more, or it will taste terrible!!!) mixed together thoroughly until the baking soda is dissolved is like magic medicine for an upset stomach. What better than a base like sodium bicarbonate to neutralize your rampant acids in your stomach? I'm such a nerd.

You should never take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, i.e. many pain medications) when you have a stomach issue. Why?

In the pain pathway, there are two enzymes that are especially responsible for creating pain and inflammation. These are the cyclooxygenase-I and cyclooxygenase-II (COX-I, II) enzymes. COX-I regulates some normal functions of your body--the thickness of your stomach lining and the release of gastric acid in your stomach, for example. The COX-II enzymes are the ones responsible for your excruciating pain. NSAIDs, however, aren't entirely selective for the COX-II enzymes, and will also have adverse effects on your COX-I enyzmes, creating the risk for stomach ulcers and increased irritation. This is why you should never take aspirin for an extended period of time for a fever or otherwise. And definitely why you should never take one of these medications when you have the stomach flu.

I think all this writing of science fair activities is turning me into one of those really cheesy science guys on TV. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that this is my body telling me that I need to stop running around like a mad person. I need a break!

Resting until further notice...