Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Neuroscience exam, not so much

(waves from under pile of papers) Hi!

Had my midterm in "Brain & Behavior" a little while ago. This is one of those situations where I know the material pretty thoroughly, and feel horribly embarrassed about getting anything wrong at all. I got a few wrong. Not many, but still, SOME. And so now I'm in the throes of feeling like I am personally letting my professor down for having missed any questions at all. Especially on Heschl's gyrus, which is her favorite part of the superior temporal lobe and I could not remember if it was primary or secondary auditory cortex. For which I feel like a jackass right now. (It's primary.) (kicks self several more times)

Also, yeah, myelination continues until about age 18. Not basically done at age 3 or 4. That would be speech centers. Gack.

Oh, I am so much fun to be around right now, aren't I?


Plumbing skillz, though, I has 'em - I replaced the inside of the valve on my shower and now, for the first time in about 4 years, it no longer leaks. I rule! I rule my shower, at least.

I am still getting used to the whole thing about being the only responsible adult in the house in some ways - if I don't fix something, or call a repairman who will fix it, the fixing doesn't happen. If I forget about it for a month, it's still there waiting for me to deal with. This seems to be a deeply buried thing. Not a big loud one, but still an oddness that I am adjusting to. Slowly.

In other news, I have a sort of brunch date Sunday. Pleasant enough person. We'll see--not especially optimistic or excited or anything. It's been one of those situations where the guy tries to keep up and mostly succeeds and I am sort of in performance mode and even more annoying and scary than usual. So if I can manage to not go into a lot of detail on molecular neuroscience, it should be okay. That's a big if lately, you may have noticed. I like there to be some give and take, and when I feel like I'm either a) the entertainment or b) totally blowing someone away, it's not good. It matters more to me to be myself than to edit extensively to make someone else not feel overwhelmed. I like to play. If I can't play, it isn't fun. Some people cope with me just fine; some don't.


Hm...what else...oh, apparently "Mamma Mia!" is wildly popular - I tried to meet some friends to see it Friday and it was sold out - doofus me had not brought the correct cell phone number to call and at least say "hi I'm here but I can't get in" - blah. (um, yeah, that's what the hell happened, L & C & D & everybody). At least I got to watch Dr. Who :)

I took my younger two to see "Space Chimps" yesterday. It was not as bad as one might expect - really quite okay. So if you're in 100 degrees F and need a place to escape to and have already exhausted all other options, this one won't make you barf.

Movies I want to see that are out now include: Hancock, Mongol, that one with Angelina Jolie in the time-slip thing with lots of explosions, The Hulk (yes, really), Iron Man (if I can find it anyplace), Hellboy, Mamma Mia, and the Batman movie. Summer is "great big explosion" season, and I like it. I also like slightly sillier music this time of year - more bouncy, danceable metal stuff than the rest of the year.

And no, I don't think I'm going to have time to see more than about half of them, but I can daydream. (I love my classes, but dang it, they do take up time)

That's the news, folks - see you around!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Neuroscience rocks!

Sigh. I got to sit in on the lecture about myesthenia gravis and botulism and stuff last night - wow, was it fun to go through the molecular action. Yay! Professor kindly said yes, it would be okay if I sat in. One of my "Brain & Behavior" classmates is in neuro, too, so I sat with her. REALLY fun geeking out with her.

And our group paper thing for today is done. And - huzzah! - my biochem problem set is due Thursday, not today, so I didn't need to stay up 'til some silly hour finishing it. (I stayed up playing on the internet instead.) We present our stuff in brain class today & I actually found out all the stuff I wanted to know, like, hey what does a machine for diffusion tensor imaging look like? And what was that gene again, the one that works with ErbB4 to regulate oligodendrocyte expression? Fun.

Additional fun in biochem lab last week, though the lab writeups will be considerably less fun, I think (le sigh). I seem to be becoming experienced and competent. Science - I has some; what I do with it? (TF said ok you guys have all - wait, how many of you have done gel electrophoresis before? - hands going up consisted of... me. gee.) Anyway, I'm getting to the point where when I read about something, I've now had sufficient biostatistics and molecular biology and brain stuff up the wazoo that it doesn't all go over my head--I mostly get it! hey!

Happy belated Bastille Day! Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite! Et bonjour!


Friday, July 04, 2008

Not a plumber, still, but AM a novice neuroscientist

I love my goddamn classes this summer. I love them. I love them.

Okay okay, so today? for "Brain & Behavior"? we went to an EEG lab and got to see the whole procedure and sit in on a neurologist going over some readings with a resident, and we understood what was going on and it was sooooo coooool.

And, and, and, for biochemistry, we had our first lab today, and we don't have quizzes at every frickin' lab session!! yay! and we're doing spectrin mutations (again), and I'm laughing that I'm thinking "oh, spectrin again," and it was fun. And I don't think I screwed anything up.

And now, I'm thinking that spectrin molecular structure is like navajo plying. Lots of DNA stuff reminds me of yarn structure - it supercoils all the time! like twisted cord! - and spectrin has two alpha helices coiled around each other and sort of makes a Z shape with a third piece that goes back down and connects to another repeat of the whole thing. I cannot shake this notion.

Last lecture was ALL Math! It was great! Like being in a really wonderful, straightforward trig-based proof or something. We went through Michaelis-Menton equations and derived all the versions for different enzyme conditions. WAY fun. I forgot how much I love math.

Oh, yeah! Happy 4th of July! Hope you all get to geek out hardcore about something you love.