Bombed

I bombed today in Latin. Atleast, I did not do as well as I had done on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, I was on m A-game. He called on me first, and I knew the translation. I could tell him about it, and even at the end of it, he said, “Good.” I was satisfied.

And usually there’s a method to how he calls people. If he calls you one day, he’ll probably not all you the next time we meet. So I was relaxed, and didn’t even think about really going over the translation again. I just wrote down my translation and that was it.

Well, boy was I wrong. I was super overconfident, and I flustered.

I received this biggest shock of my life today when he came in and the first name he called was mine. I looked up with wide eyes, and even others had wide eyes. Every eye was on me, and they kind of had the same expression as me. They were surprised that he called me again, and called me FIRST. AGAIN.

Well crap.

Before the professor gets to class, we (well, my classmates, and I just listen) talk about how we don’t want to be called today because we didn’t finish the translations, or that he has a method to how he calls people. Or we say how he calls on people who seem like they don’t know the translation or are really good at it. We just don’t want to believe that the method is purely random.

So before class, I always review my translation so I’m not completely lost in class, but I look at it more closely if I knew that I was going to be called that day. Well, I should have looked closer.

So I did well for the first half of the translation (except I forgot the meaning of word “haud” and thought it was “but” instead of “not”. Honest mistake. Okay. Fine.

But the next sentence, wow it went so downhill that I couldn’t keep up.

I was just so unprepared. I remembered this part because I remembered having trouble with it while I was translating, but I couldn’t remember all of this stuff. Honestly, I think my nerves also got to me.

And then for the rest of the class, he was mainly talking about other stuff. People were asking him questions to buy themselves time and to make sure that no more people were chosen. And they were damn good at it. If I had not gotten chosen to translate first, I would have thought that those people asking questions were angels sent from God. But because I had already been chosen, I just wanted to translate the dang passage and get it over with. We have a test on Wednesday, so I just wanted to finish translating everything and be done with today. But literally after me were 3 other people, and then we were done. These students were professionals! They had bought themselves about 30/50 minutes of class. I was highly impressed.

We didn’t even get to today’s intended translations…

I should have reviewed :/

Oh well, now I have an interview, so I should prep for that.

Figuras Tectas

Title is Latin for “hidden figures” 😉

I just came from watching a screening of the movie, Hidden Figures and… I feel so inspired by these women.

Okay first off, there was this lady sitting right in front of me who would not just sit stiff. AND she overreacted to everything that happened in the movie. She found every single thing funny, and when things were actually funny, she wouldn’t laugh. She danced to every single song and… it was just alot. I was so distracted by her. Even a girl behind me commented on the fact that not everything in the movie was funny…

But BESIDES that, the movie was absolute art.

I loved that it was based on a true story, the idea that these women are finally being recognized  for all the work they did for NASA (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson). It’s crazy just how much we go through history knowing some of the big-shot names, the huge supervisors of it all, yet the people working behind the magic are not recognized. For example, Rosalind Franklin is hardly ever mentioned in biology textbooks (though, I believe people are working to change that) because she was a woman just working in a lab. But her x-ray picture of DNA helped to ultimately find its true structure. But is she the one credited for it? Nope. Watson and Crick, the people who stole the x-ray picture off of her desk, were the ones who ended up getting the Nobel Prizes for the discovery. In that time, women were not allowed to receive Nobel Peace Prizes. Unfortunately, Franklin was not recognized until after she had died.

I did not even know about her until 9th grade of high school. All that time, I was told “Watson and Crick”, “Watson and Crick discovered DNA!” “Watson and Crick found the helical structure!”

Since the beginning of time, women have been over-worked and under-appreciated for the work they do. This movie just brought up so many more feelings within me about the idea of science and women in science, especially colored women.

These women did some incredible things for NASA. Without Katherine Johnson’s phenomenal mathematical skills, NASA would not have been able to put the first American man into space. Without Dorothy Vaughan, women probably would not fight for the right to demand a higher job title and higher status. Without Mary Jackson, colored women would probably not think it possible to become an aeronautical engineer, or an engineer at that. These women changed America’s (and the world’s) idea of the STEM field. America used to look through a black-and-white lens, but these women put color into it.

Over the past few weeks, I really thought about the idea of being a physics major. After taking physics last semester and being in my second semester, I realized just how much I love the science. It’s the only class that I actually have opened the textbook and actually enjoyed reading it. That has NEVER happened for me in a STEM class. I remember how back in high school, I was actually really good at physics. I was one of the few people in my class (only 3 of us) who passed the AP Physics exam.

Last week, I was walking down the physics hallway, and they showed a picture of their graduates. Their classes are TINY. Their graduating class is about 25 students (compared to my bio graduating class of over , and, to no surprise, they were all white males.

I was a little surprised at how small the department was, because the professors all seem like geniuses in the field, and they are all super enthusiastic about it. I would think that there would be more. NOPE.

I have also always been fascinated by the idea of an engineer, the idea of space, the idea of being able to take someone and send them out of the earth. I thought (and still think) aeronautical engineers are the coolest people on the planet. I remember going to the Aerospace museum in DC over Thanksgiving break 2015 and I was like a fat kid in a candy store.

The place was amazing!

They had airplanes hanging from the sky, biographies of the world’s most renown flights, they even had an entire exhibit dedicated to Amelia Earhart.

Now, no one really knows this, but Amelia Earhart is one of my favorite people in world history. I don’t know what it was, but her disappearance was the most fascinating thing to me. How did she just disappear and no one know where she was? When I was young, I used to come up with alternative ideas as to what may have happened to her. I thought that maybe she decided to reside at a nearby island.

I have always thought, “What if I became a physics major?”

First off, I would be highly under-estimated, like the women in the movie. None of the men thought that these women were worth much. They al prejudged their intelligence only to realize just how important and needed they are in the field.

Anyways, it’s still an idea.

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, a black female physicist who is breaking boundaries all over the place in STEM research, is my role model right now (besides Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie, of course), and she has me thinking, “Why don’t I just change my major?” she was the 76th black female in the US to get a PhD in Physics. I thought that was crazy. Where are the women? Why are the numbers so small?

On My Way to the Kingdom

Soo I got good news y’all!

I will probably be studying abroad this upcoming fall semester! I will be going to my dream place, the place that I’ve told everyone that I would go to: the UK!

I am so excited. The dean had emailed me today about the results of my petition, and she said that it went through and that I should be able to. I am so excited right now!

I was worried because my GPA did not really hit their minimum. I was super sad because studying abroad has been a longtime dream for me. Heck, it was the first information session I went as a freshman. I was super pumped, but I had gotten discouraged when the woman said that if you were premed, you would be in the worst situation.

Well guess what? I’ll be done with all premed requirements this year, so next year will be freed up to do whatever I wanted.

And I want to study abroad!

I have really thought about what I would be giving up if I studied abroad:

  1. I was applying for a higher job title in my job and there was a pretty big chance that I would get it.
  2. I do not have any plans for housing next year because I knew that I would possibly be studying abroad, so if this does not work out, then I will be homeless
  3. I am giving up my Inequality Studies minor, which I was so pumped to get. I am taking a Soc class right now that goes towards the minor, but there is a required class that is only offered in the fall.
  4. I would be missing out on whatever has been reserved for seniors fall semester. This will be the last time I will be seeing alot of people, so that is kind of sad that the time is cut short.
  5. Studying abroad will probably take some more money that I need to get. and I am already paying a good amount to go to this school (time to start applying for a bunch of scholarships)

But I am just so excited for it that none of this really matters for me currently. I just want to go and travel! I love to travel, so yes, I want to go!

Now all I have to do is finish the college application. Hopefully they let me in. I am so motivated. I hardly got any sleep last week (which is probably why I woke up so late for classes today. I should not have gotten out Saturday night.. though it was a great time! Okay, I digress). I was working on everything studying abroad, which is why I am so happy that everything went through! I would have actually cried if everything did not go as planned.

Just Plain Dumb

I already know that throughout my entire college experience, I’ve done some dumb stuff. REALLY dumb stuff. It’s part of the learning process, I get that.

But I know for a fact that if I were a decent, sound-minded, and normal human being, many of those mistakes could have been easily avoided. No questions asked.

Such as Exhibit A, which happened about 3 hours ago in my Genetics lab.

We were told to pick our lab partners. I had asked a friend the day before if we could be lab partners, and he said sure. So I was happy about that.

I was thinking about the lab all day throughout my classes because this would be the first day of Genetic lab, and I was kind of ready to get started (and kind of regretting my decision of wanting to become a Bio major).

So lab comes, and I decided that I would get to lab early so we could have a good place to work. I knew that the week before, the table I worked at was really cool. These two girls were really funny and easy-going, so I wanted to stay at that position.

So I get there early and I sit and wait for my partner. He finally comes in, and I’m waving at him and he waves back at me. Next, he walks away and sits somewhere else. I was confused, and a little dumbfounded. I had a seat right next to me that he could have taken. People were already sitting by their partners, so I was thinking that he would sit by me. Instead, he sits elsewhere.

At first, I am thinking, “Okay, maybe he forgot. It’s fine, maybe he’ll remember.” Then, I’m thinking that maybe he wanted to sit somewhere else and work with someone else. I wasn’t really hurt, I was just a little confused.

I accepted the fact, so when it came time for us to pick lab partners, I made eye contact with a guy who was sitting by himself. He gave me a nod like, “Do you wanna be partners?” I said “sure”. So he starts getting his stuff to sit by me.

AND THEN.

I see my friend start getting up from his chair,

And he starts walking towards where I was.

Shoot.

Shoot shoot, crap, wait, what, omg, no.

My mind started going in circles. I didn’t know what to do. I had messed up.

So then, he starts approaching and the other guy is approaching. And then I have a panicked look. That’s when they kind of look at each other and they’re like, “Wait, what?”

Everyone has the Mr. Krab’s face on at this moment.

People around are starting to look, and… it was just awkward all around, all because of me. People also started whispering to their partner.

I am still cringing at the memory. It was so embarrassing and I felt so bad.

I tried to explain saying, “I saw you sit somewhere else, so I thought you had changed your mind.” And it seemed like the more I tried to explain, the worse it got.

I could tell that my friend was trying to making the least awkward as possible by saying, “It’s alright. No problem! I’ll just go and work with someone else.”

And I stupidly said, “Yea, it’ll only be for today. I am so sorry.”

Me, not thinking about what I said and not even thinking about the lab that was about to happen, forgot that this lab would be going on for 8 weeks. The people we chose as our lab partners today were our partners basically for the rest of the semester.

It was at this moment that I felt sooooo bad. I just wanted to rewind the last 10 minutes. So many alternative scenarios started to run in my head:

  1. I should have came in later
  2. I should have waited a little bit and not made eye contact with anyone
  3. I should have said that I made a mistake and that I already told a friend that I would work with him
  4. I should have never asked my friend the day before, and I should have let things happen naturally
  5. I should have just stayed quiet and been on my phone or something
  6. I just should have never taken genetics lab.

So the partner I have now is really chill. He’s relaxed and clearly knows what he’s doing.

After class, I had to go to my friend. I just felt so rotten during the entire 2-hour lab. We made eye contact and he was just saying, “It’s okay. It really is.” I guess he saw my face before I could say anything. I just felt like I needed to explain the situation. I did, and he said, “Yea, I could see how from afar it would look like I chose somewhere else. I was just telling the person next to me that I already had a partner.” He also said how he sat closer to the board in order to see it better, but he was planning on sitting next to me later. I felt even worse after that.

But then he told me that he was gonna work with his mentee and another person, so it was all good. I felt a little better, but still really dumb. I’m sure everyone in that room felt the awkwardness. It was the worst-case scenario brought to life.

It would’ve been better for me to not have found a partner and have to find somewhere to be.

If anything, from this I learned just how quickly I jump to conclusions. I need to verify more. I know that I’ve made this kind of mistake plenty of times, but I need to speak up. I could have easily gone up to him and asked him if he still wanted to be partners, but I didn’t.

I have really learned my lesson today.

What am I Passionate About? Time’s Running Out

08/19/2016

Today’s move-in day at my college, and it’s bittersweet.
This is my Junior year, and I still am unsure as to what I want to do with my life.
I should be overjoyed that I am graduating in 2 years, but as I look back at my last 2 years in college, I ask myself, “What have I actually accomplished?” Maybe I’m being dramatic, because I feel like I have done a lot, but I just feel like I haven’t done enough.
For one, the fact that I am still questioning my major even though I declared it last year tells you a lot.
It seems like everyone has kind of figured out their niche and where they belong, but I’ve used so much time looking at all the opportunities available to me that I haven’t really narrowed down my search yet.
This summer did help a lot though. I actually achieved a lot this summer now looking back. First and foremost, I was able to actually see what I might be doing in the future by shadowing a surgeon. It was amazing what he does, but I was questioning myself the entire time: “Could I be able to do that once put into that situation?”
I know that I should have more shadowing hours by now than this, but with the amount of shadowing I’ve already done, it definitely has helped me get an idea as to what I will be doing.
And now, I am looking into what I am actually passionate about.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been back in my college town and just working a whole bunch. It’s been boring and fun at the same time. Talking with my co-workers has actually been super rewarding.
There was one co-worker who was basically my twin (like it was scary). He had come back to Ithaca early for the exact same reason as I did (he got bored at home, and decided to come back and work a whole bunch of hours before school started), and he lived a state below me.
We got to talking, and we realized that we have even more in common. He basically had the same interests as me. He likes technology and wants to do something along the lines of building and creating and designing stuff. He said how he looked into almost all majors imaginable at Cornell, and took things because he felt like he needed to (bio classes). He said how he has changed his major every summer (like I have), and that when he graduates he wants to do something with technology.
I couldn’t believe it. He was basically quoting my life aspirations.
He told me that he was studying Information Science, but it’s under Interdisciplinary because he had chosen a major so late. I looked into the InfoSci major, and I couldn’t believe it.
It was basically everything that I ever wanted.
It combined psychology, sociology, technology, math, science, etc. all of these things into one. And I loved it so much.
AND their main offices are found in my favorite building on campus (the building is absolutely gorgeous!).
AND their website was so user-friendly, I loved it so much.
AND their website was in my favorite color. Even. Freaking. Better.
I just loved everything about the major and I wish that I had noticed much earlier on.
I think that I would like to change my major, but I am wondering if I would have to change colleges within my university or enroll in this separate program.
And the problem is that I have taken so many classes in Biology already that I am almost done with the major, so what would be the point?
Maybe I should just get the minor?
I don’t know. So many choices and so little time.

Coming from the Heart

Yesterday I probably had my worst volunteering experience yet.

I had to volunteer at my local library because they were working on a community project. Everyone was suppose to contribute to this cause. People came at different times to contribute to the project.

I was in charge of helping to sign people in, but it was a very slow day. In addition, the person who was suppose to be volunteering with me ended up not showing up. I kind of wish I had done that too because I stayed there for two hours doing close to nothing. The coordinator seemed really nice, so he showed me what exactly I would probably do (turns out he did it for most of the time, and I wasn’t even mad about it, because I went to sleep so late the night before and I wasn’t in the mood of talking to people).

I talked to him a little bit more and he told me how he was an English major and moved here about 2 years ago from England. Yes, England. I was super surprised because he didn’t even have the accent. He told me how England’s education system was very different. In England, you study and test in 12 subjects, and you choose 4 subjects out of the 12 to continue studying in depth. When he moved to America, it was a hard transition because there were some classes that he hadn’t taken in years due to this system.

As we were talking, I did notice that he was a bit attractive. Unfortunately, I had a huge hunch that he may not have been straight. And it turns out that I was right.

We ended up talking during the time that no one was there (which was a large amount of time), and he talked about how he wrote queer fantasy, which I thought was pretty interesting since there weren’t many of those kinds of books.

Then the other coordinator came and started talking to me. He asked me what I was studying and which school I went to. It’s funny because his first guess was that I attended the community college nearby (he kind of pointed his body in the direction of the community college and asked, “Soo do you go to…?”) With pride I said my school’s name, and his eyebrows raised a little bit, and he re-established his posture. He also seemed more enthusiastic to maintain a conversation with me.

I told him that I’m a bio major pre-med, and he was again surprised to notice that  I had maintained the pre-med track into my sophomore year. He talked about how he used to be on the pre-med track back in the day, but organic chemistry ruined his life.So he decided to do English instead and become a librarian.

At first I was confused as to how you go from being a doctor to being a librarian, but I didn’t show it in my face (atleast I tried not to), and I realized that it looked like something he loved, so I was happy that he found the right track for him.

So some more people came, and there was one lady who came with her son. He said that I could do it this time, so I took the clipboard and approached the mother of the child. It was at that moment that I realized I didn’t really know what to say, even though I did?

I was suppose to ask for her name, but I stalled to long and the coordinator noticed it. He instead asked her for it, and  I checked her name off of the clipboard. I kind of felt bad because that was the only job I had, and I felt like I didn’t do it.

So more dead time came, and it was near 1pm. I had a review session for my final exam starting at 1:30pm. I decided that I would leave early because I needed the review session..

The coordinator offered me a sandwich, and I took it and told him that I couldn’t stay for long. He said that it was totally fine. So I sat for about a couple minutes longer, and I told them that the bus was coming so I was going to leave. I needed them to sign off hours for me so after a goodbye I told him that I needed him to sign off the sheet for hours. The girl sitting next to him turned away and started rapidly blinking. He wordlessly took the paper from and me and scribbled his name and info on there. I don’t think they were pleased at all.

That’s the hardest thing for me: getting papers signed. I  feel like people would automatically think that you’re volunteering just to rack up hours, not because you actually and willingly want to help. That’s something that I really don’t like.

Last Day of Orgo Lab!

It’s sad that my last post deleted… I was on my school’s Mac, and I shut down without even looking at the tabs I already had open. How unfortunate.

Oh well, I’ll make an even better one.

So today marked the last day of Orgo lab, which was actually bittersweet. Though my grades definitely did not reflect it, I actually regarded it as one of my favorite classes (behind my Anthro class). I LOVED the class probably because I had a pretty cool and chill TA. He helped us out whenever we needed help, and he just seemed really calm with everything. I told him how I had spilled out half of my sample during my lab practical, and though he stared at me for a little bit in disbelief, he calmly said that I should go and talk to the main lab instructor (he also chuckled a little bit, but I guess that was also because he couldn’t believe that I would do the one thing that I was told not to do). Actually, going on with this funny story, I had an orgo test in my main orgo class on the same day as the orgo lab practical. So yea, that was a really rough and sleepless week, to say the least. AND on top of that, after taking the test, my orgo professor emailed me later that night telling me that they couldn’t find my test.
MY TEST.
Of all the 800 students in the class, how could it have been possible that only my class was gone? I was in disbelief, but at the same time not surprised because… well… it had to be me.

Eventually they found my test amidst some blank tests, and after getting blatantly blamed by my professor for losing my own test (which was actually NOT my fault because the TA laid my test on the podium instead of putting it in the right slot), I still ended up with a 92 on the test (Heck yea!). It’s sad because this was my favorite professor so far. I was planning on even asking him for my recommendation for med school, but I guess that’s not happening anymore. Oh well.

So yea I’ve had my share of experiences in my orgo classes this semester, but I believe they have all been for the best.

It’s sad because tomorrow/today (Friday) is the very last lecture of my other orgo professor. He’s retiring after being at Cornell for over like 50 years, which I think is crazy, but he says that he has loved it. And he’s British which is funny because you can hear his accent. Anyways, though he is not the greatest lecturer, if I went up to him to ask him questions he was always very helpful (and he would always compliment me on having such neat notes 🙂 ). Today is going to be a very memorable day for him, and he might cry, causing me to cry, but it’s whatever. I really will miss this nice, old man.