Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Enough of my research topic; class was interesting as well. In class we performed two protocols. We took our DNA and placed it in three different Polymerase Chain Reactions. This will amplify our DNA, specifically parts that we want to compare. We will later compare everyone's DNA to see similar patterns and genetic similarities. It's exciting to see your DNA alongside others on an agarose gel.
We also used our DNA to finish making microscope slides. We were able to look at the slides to find our lymphocytes, and--with some luck-- our chromosomes. Our DNA that we've been using all came from the blood we drew a week ago! The class is accelerating as it quickly comes to an end.
In other news, I visited the music library today. It had hundreds of music scores, and a lot on the history of music. In the basement, there was a practice room with a piano. I found out that one of my friends has amazing relative pitch, which means he can play songs just by hearing them. The amazing part is that he doesn't play any musical instruments.
Other than that, the day was just another fun day at Brown. I'm excited to see the Brown II cohort tomorrow!
I got no sleep on the night of July 4th, not only because of the fireworks but because I knew I wasn’t going to get any sleep. Rather, I made plans to catch up on my sleep during my 6-hour plane ride to Rhode Island. I spent the whole night packing and mentally preparing for my journey to the East Coast.
The meeting place for my cohort was El Cerrito High School. My mom, brother, and I arrived at around 3 AM, as the shuttle was expected at 4 and we still needed to receive loaner items from Don. However, two other people were there before us: my friends Vincent and Jaskaran. They got up at 2:30 and drove out to EL Cerrito just to say goodbye to their De Anza friends!
As we boarded the shuttle and said goodbye to our friends and family, we realized there wasn’t enough space for one of our fellow flyers, Ms. Madeline Kronenberg. She ended up finding a way to the Oakland Airport by the generosity of Mariko’s parents.
After checking in our luggage and a quick breakfast, we boarded Southwest Airlines just as the sun began to rise from the horizon. This was my first time on a plane since last year, and I admit, about 80% of my time was spent with me looking out of the window fascinated by the clouds.
At 4 PM, we finally arrived at Rhode Island. The first thing I noticed, for unknown reasons, was the fact that the airport was carpeted. The next thing I noticed was how incredibly humid it was outside. One could feel the moisture in the air as they breathed in, and unlike in the West Coast, hiding in shade wouldn’t make the temperature any cooler. After a small incident involving a change in rental cars, we were on our way to our hotel, Hotel Providence. It’s the fanciest hotel I’ve ever stayed in, and Cynthia, Rebecca and I had the honor of staying in the Samuel Mark Twain Clemmens Suite.
An hour after arrival in the hotel, we met up in the lobby and headed out to Capital Grille, an elegant restaurant in Providence. There, we met and dined with two admission officers of Brown University and our Women and Leadership teacher, Kisa Takesue. I had the meal of champions: Lobster bisque, Filet Mignon, and side orders of Lobster Mac’n’ Cheese, a medley of mushrooms, and potatoes au gratin.
We’re back in the hotel now, and after our first meeting with our chaperone, the girls and I shared our opinions and insight of what happened today. It’s been less than 24 hours, and after bonding in our pajamas in the lobby of our hotel, I look forward to spending 3 weeks with my fellow Brownies even more. We all have different personalities and different ways of expressing humor and comfort toward each other, but we all get along extremely well and there is no doubt that we will all be like sisters by the end of this trip.
After a long but exciting day, I am now sitting in the lobby having a blog party with all 7 of our Women and Leadership students from Ivy League Connection. We’ve concluded that the major review points of our day.
We met at ECHS at 3:15 where we got a useful briefing about our trip and we took a group photo. We took a shuttle (with a very nice driver) to the Oakland Airport. We took two flights to get to Rhode Island and they were both quite pleasant. We mainly slept through the flights.
We checked into our amazing hotel at about 5:30. We went to our rooms to get dressed for our dinner and then we met back down in the lobby at 6:45.
We ate dinner at Capital Grille with our cohorts and chaperones. We were very lucky to have Kisa Takesue, Elizabeth Hart, and Mercedes Domenech join us for dinner. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to speak to Elizabeth or Mercedes. However they seemed to be very warm, friendly people. I was not uncomfortable speaking with them at all because they were so open and easy to talk to. I was able to relax and have a nice dinner with intuitive conversations without panicking or being preoccupied with sounding collegiate. I spoke with Domenech about many topics ranging from the questionable twilight movie series to racial cliques in our high school. I greatly enjoyed our conversation and I look forward to having class with her as my teacher!
At the end of this tiring day, I absolutely adored gathering with my other Women and Leadership buddies. We are all becoming close and shared some great laughs during our blog party. It’s really nice to meet people from other schools and to get the chance to know each other. Every one of these girls is very sweet and considerate and they all took care of me this morning when I wasn’t feeling well. I think we will be best friends by the time we leave and I hope those friendships last my entire life.
Because of the fireworks from the fourth of July, I could not get to sleep. I stayed up until I had to leave at 2:30AM to get to El Cerrito High School. We took many pictures until the shuttle pulled up, which unfortunately was a seat short. Ms. Kronenberg found a ride and eventually showed up at the airport. When we got on the plane, I fell asleep. I felt really subconscious until I saw Cynthia Yip asleep, too. When we got to Chicago, I got some nachos and chowed down until the plane pulled up to the gate. After a confusing mix-up at the gate, we got our seats, and quickly fell asleep for the entire two hour flight to Providence.
We pulled up to the gate at 4:00PM and the first thing I noticed was the air. The moist air quickly made it too hot to withstand. Mr. Ramsey got our rental cars checked out and we were on our way… until our second car suffered a button malfunction. After a while, we were on our way again and got to Hotel Providence where we were greeted by bellhops. The bags were taken up to our rooms where we changed for the dinner at Capital Grille.
I was pleased with our seating arrangements as I was seated between Kisa Takesue, the Woman & Leadership teacher and Elizabeth Hart, an Admissions Officer at Brown University. Mercedes Domenech, another Brown Admissions Officer, sat across from me. We had a very delicious dinner and the dessert was better. Afterwards, we chatted about movies, books, and colleges. After the bill was paid, we took more pictures and our guests gratefully took us home.
When we pulled up to the hotel, we went up to our room and changed out of our formal wear and (for me) into pajamas. Then we went into the lobby where we started our blogs. As I sit down to write this blog I realize that I made so many new friends and today wouldn’t have been as great without them.
Today’s class covered the important concept of the AD-AS curve, which stands for the aggregate demand-aggregate supply curve. This curve that compares demand and supply in terms of the aggregate price level and real GDP is a vital tool when talking about the macroeconomy. Mr. Coleman discussed the distinction between long-run aggregate supply and short-run aggregate supply and the output gap that can result from the difference between actual aggregate output and potential output. Even though the economy is self-correcting in the long run, the government can enact fiscal policies or monetary policies to speed up recoveries. We also learned about money, a seemingly simple idea but is actually quite complex. The United States now uses fiat money, money that has value because we agree upon it, as opposed to commodity-backed money, which was used in our previous gold standard system.
We covered a ton of material in our class time so Mr. Coleman rewarded us by letting us finish Blood Diamond. I became very emotional at the end of the movie, but I tried to shield my tears from my classmates because from what I could tell, the boys sitting next to me weren’t crying. I really enjoyed the movie, but I’m disturbed by the horrific diamond wars in Africa.
Our group changed our presentation day to Thursday to give us more time to work on our project. We met in the SciLi at 4 PM to discuss our plans. Ellen didn’t show up because she was not feeling well, but Tomas, Johnny, Emily, and I were ready to work. We created a Google Doc PowerPoint presentation so that we can work on it individually. I’m almost finished with my section titled “China’s Economy: why do we care?” I still have to complete the evidence page after everyone gives me their sources. I am quite happy with the progress we’re making. We’ll be ready to present on Thursday.
To Brown Session 2: welcome to Providence!
After class I was able to meet with my mom’s cousin, who is my cousin as well, Rolland Murrary. He is an English professor at Brown University focusing on American literature of the 20th century as well as literature from the Black Power movement. I had never met him previous to today so seeing him and talking to him about our large family and the differences between the family dynamics now and when he was growing up was very interesting. We ate lunch together and then afterwards he toured me around the English department area of Brown. Even though I had never seen him before today, to talk to another family member was a true treat for me.
After this amazing experience I met up with my group one last time before our final presentation tomorrow. We did mock presentations, modified our power points, and lastly made some additions. I am very confident that tomorrow my group mates and I will do an astounding job on our presentations. Our basic plan to reduce the budget deficit is to raise taxes on things such as alcohol, cigarettes, property, services, and other goods. The major income taxes will be placed upon the more wealth California citizens. We figured that if we cut spending’s you would cut too deeply into education, the long term driving force of any civilization. College students would receive less financial aid, and the primary and secondary schools would lose beneficial programs such as the arts or sports.
After completing this, my roommate, some friends and I had a cultural dance gathering in which we all listened and learned dance moves to each other cultural music. It was pretty interesting to see all of the dances that people do across the globe. I believe that you can tell a lot about certain cultures via their dance and song traditions. All in all today was a rather productive and interesting day. As the days get shorter here I am already beginning to miss this whole rollercoaster. Brown is truly amazing.