Saturday, September 29, 2007

Xylem & Phloem, Oh My!

Never in a million years would I have thought plants would encompass so many different cycles and parts! I mean, I remember the basics from high school but this is the basics + 10. Or maybe the basics + 5 because the basics + 10 would be Botany.

After the great (first) Bio II exam of last week and my subsequent "bombing" of this exam (officially I don't know my grade yet, but I can tell you--it stinks to high heaven) I am going to have to eat, breathe and sleep PLANTS!

Even their 'sex lives' are rather complex. Yes, their SEX LIVES! They might not listen to Marvin Gaye like the rest of us, but they are quite interesting in their own right!

So you, my fair reader (both of you) get to endure my new found obsession/respect for our green little friends (not the aliens):

Four Major Changes:
1)protection of a multi cellular embryo
2)evolution of vascular tissue
3)evolution of the seed
4)evolution of the flower


Four Major Groups:
1)Non vascular
2)Seedless Vascular
3)Gymnosperms/Vascular Seed bearing
4)Angiosperms Vascular Seed & Flower bearing

And we'll leave it at that for tonight.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mind Freak:

(has the term been registered or copy written? Sorry, no Criss Angel here)

Instead I am going to talk about the original 'Mind Freak' offered up here by Raphael circa 1509. We studied The School of Athens in Art Appreciation for so long last night...I thought I was going to accidentally fall into it!

Nevermind all the famous philosophers wandering about (that's enough to think about in itself) but it's such a grand example of every possible linear perspective technique.

One-point becomes two-point and just imagine NONE of the actual people present and just look at the fore and background and how it appears the hallway just goes on and on and on...the archways the sky. Then throw your subjects back into it and you can study eye level, main vanishing points, and our central figures...
(nuts is code for amazingly genius!)


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

All about the Spirogyra:

So I spent a lot of time Monday afternoon at work, in a silent conversation with all that is Holy. I was in the grips of "trying to get sick" and I was fading fast. I saw myself failing tests and was near panic. I did some bargaining and even offered up a weekend for "sick" if I could just made it through the week without being doomed to bed.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning: I didn't feel half bad or half good but better than the day before. Thank goodness for small miracles and antihistamines.

Rewind to Monday night: We had our first Art "test" and although I didn't ace it, I didn't fail it either. I completely blanked on an artist's name. Whoops. I had an interesting conversation before class with the professor about two movies he had seen and was going to recommend to the class. Guess what? I had seen one and knew about the second one. Moral of the story? Netflix pays.

Back to Tuesday morning: I need to tell the world a deep, dark secret. Ready? I am a horrible at trying to find something microscopic under the microscope. So I'm glad I have two people who CAN in my Bio II Lab group. Once it's focused, I can "see" but I spent a few minutes focusing in on the "edge" of a slide and assuming it was the edge of an amoeba. Not cool.

Also, (and this is a shout out to all the "geeks" out there) Spirogyra is some super awesome looking algae. Go ahead and GOOGLE it....I'll wait. And the funny thing is, my Lab partner pointed out exactly how "geeky" we sounded because not only was I fascinated, she was as well.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Starbucking with the Blue Dog:

I did some Saturday Starbucking this afternoon (not to be confused with the documentary of the same name showcasing Winter and his attempt to visit every Starbucks worldwide) and had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.

*moment of silence for the greatness that is Pumpkin Spice*

Before I treated myself to caffeine I visited the Dixon (as previously planned) and was completely immersed in the world of George Rodrigue. It was a wonderful visit and I found myself laughing out loud a couple times at the irony of the Blue Dog.

Now I know that Mr. Rodrigue has done more than Blue Dog in his lifetime, but that's my favorite part of his art (although his hurricane series is very interesting). I was very sad to find out there were no postcards of his work to purchase. Not only did my professor say we needed one to accompany our "gallery visit" paper but I really wanted one for myself anyway.

Being a lover of Dogs (one in particular, named Buttercup) I find all matter of Art which pays tribute to our furry companions absolutely beautiful. Have you read Mutts? Earl holds a special place in my heart.

My favorite pieces today: Man's Best Friend (1988), Blue without You (2004), Green with Envy (2005), Fall Colors for All (2006), Five of a Kind (2006)

The exhibit runs until Oct 14th, I will probably go again before it leaves.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

and now for Art and Film:

So Monday night was only our second meeting for Art Appreciation. The parking situation was a lot better now that I know where exactly I can park after 5pm so I don't have to wander across the entire campus after dark to get to and from my car.

We completed the first chapter and will have our first "test" this upcoming Monday. Also we have our first 1-page "paper" due over a piece of work of our choosing viewed at a gallery. So I will be making my way to the Dixon over the weekend to see the George Rodrigue exhibit.

Although I will happily view several Blue Dogs, I am excited to see the Degas and Renoir in the Dixon's permanent collection. I do not remember seeing them the last time I was there. Maybe they will be available for viewing this time around.

Wednesday night, in Film, we watched Citizen Kane. Now I had seen it before, but I ended up taking three pages of notes anyway. I don't know how many of them will translate into my required journal entry, but we'll see what happens there.

Before our viewing, not only did we have another quiz, we also watched short clips from other films to look specifically at Editing as well as Sound including:

The Godfather--the Baptism scene
Battleship Potemkin (1925)--the Odessa Steps sequence
M (1931)--the opening

I need to start thinking about WHAT SCENE I am going to write my first analysis paper on...I want to do something from one of the movies I have seen several times over. Maybe Garden State, The Last Kiss (2006) or Before Sunrise.


Patient Zero:

I have to tell you about one of the "labs" we did on Tuesday.

There were enough test tubes filled with a clear solution along with a pipette made for every person in the class. They were then placed randomly on our tables while we were taking a quiz (very tricky) as to not call too much attention to them.

When we finished our quiz, our professor told us that "someone" in the room has a horrible disease (one test tube was "infected") and we were to "swap" solution with at least three people in the class (via the pipettes) and record WHO we "swap" with...

are you following?

Then everyone was to put a couple drops of another solution into our individual test tube and if it turned pink--you were now infected. Then we had to use our deductive reasoning skills to figure out WHO was the original person with the "horrible disease". The professor knew the answer...

For the record, of the 20 or so people in lab, only 8 people ended up being "infected"...yes, I was one of them, but because half of the people I "swapped" with were NOT infected, it made it easier to pinpoint who introduced the "disease" into our population. We got it right. We're so smart!

VERY COOL. I think every single Biology/Chemistry/Science/Health class in high school should do this experiment. It's a perfect way to symbolize how diseases (hello, STDs) are passed along.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday, Monday:

Fare Thee Well, U.S. Open! You kept me thoroughly entertained for 2 weeks now and I hate to see you go. How many more months before the new season begins?

The Men's Finals were extremely entertaining and I was very impressed by the young Novak Đoković. (plus, he's a "take off my shirt and toss it to the crowd" kinda guy--you won't see me complaining!) He could've won this thing! Wow! So I guess Roger Federer is mortal afterall...but maybe not.

It was good to see them both so genuinely moved/touched/happy during the Trophy Ceremony. I love Tennis!

Tonight is only my second Art Appreciation class (even though this starts the 3rd week of classes). I don't know what to expect. We really weren't given any instructions two weeks ago and so I think I'll read one more chapter before I go.

I am looking forward to tomorrow's Bio Lab. I don't think I've ever said that before! We get to see the incubated bacteria "swabs" that we collected. Also we can bring in samples of Fungi and Lichens for "extra" credit. I wanted to bring in some Stachybotrys chartarum...but it might be harder to find than I previously thought.

aside: although do I really want to see all the "regular" everyday bacteria that's found on "regular" everyday surfaces? I could become a alcohol (isopropanol, not grain) spraying freak. I already use enough Germ-X at work!

I have a "hot" Lunch Date today...with my dear lil' J-Mo...and his Mama! Yay!


Friday, September 7, 2007

Open Letter to Andy Roddick:

Dear Andy,

That match Wednesday night was something else. As "luck" would have it, I got out of my class about 20 minutes early and was able to rush home just in time to watch the first tie-break. Wow! What an electric atmosphere, it was as if the entire stadium was ready to explode.

I watched & watched and couldn't believe the level of talent coming through my set. I have caught more than a few matches of yours (some in person, thank you very much) and I must say this could very well be the best I have ever seen you play!

And then you lose. How is that even possible? Oh, yeah--maybe it was the Swiss machine (seriously, does he even sweat?) on the opposite side of the net. Goodness gracious!

I read the transcripts of the press conference afterward and was surprised to read such inane questions, my favorite being: Do you still think you can beat him? Which, in my opinion, is the equivalent of: Why get out of bed every morning if you know one day you're going to die anyway?

When I "grow up" and finally get to ask questions to important people/regular people/people I am interviewing/etc. I will make sure to leave the stupid questions behind. Or at least I will try to apologize for them. Seriously.

If you were playing anybody else, you would have smashed them (like you smashed that racket at the RMK Championships this past February). Congratulations on all the Net shots you won and the ones you were brave enough to try. It was impressive.

I can't wait to watch you finally beat Federer. No disrespect to him, of course. But it will happen. If I have my way, I hope to be there to see it!


Thursday, September 6, 2007

the short of it:

I know it's been at least a million years (too many days) since I last posted anything. So, to all of my loyal readers (Hi, Mom!) I want to apologize.

Biology, Film and Biology--OH MY!

There was no official Art Appreciation (in class form) due to Labor Day. I did appreciate the Art of Tennis (a lot of tennis) but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Biology Lab Notes
took our first quiz--definitely more involved than I expected
had our first "activity" lab--I really like my group
made slides and did some "gram staining"
stained the tip of my finger red in the process
took swabs from specific locations to see the bacteria growth
(results next week)
I chose a shared computer keyboard, I may never type again

Film Class Notes
watched examples of cinematography and editing from:
Citizen Kane
Touch of Evil

Biology Lecture Notes
geological time scale: eons, eras, periods and everything associated with them (evolution, fossils, continental drifts)
leading into: bacteria, viruses

Tennis (because I must)
I have watched enough Tennis to get my fill until next season and the U.S. Open isn't even over yet:

Federer d. Isner/Federer d. Lopez/Federer d. Roddick
Roddick d. Berdych/Federer d. Roddick
Haas d. Blake
Nadal d. Tipsarevic/Nadal d. Tsonga/Ferrer d. Nadal

Notice the lack of Ladies...they play before the men and due to my crazy schedule, I don't get to watch WHOLE matches--but I've caught a lot of the Williams sisters in action. I'll definitely be watching as much of the Semis and Finals as possible. GO VENUS!

That's the short of it.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

NYT mention:

So I don't think this means I can officially say I've been featured in The New York Times (Sunday Book Review), but by way of default:

I've been featured in the The New York Times!

Actually I'm not really featured in the article, but I'm quasi-mentioned in the same breath as author Laura Zigman. And being as she is a literary hero of mine (and my Den Mother *snort*), I couldn't be more honored.

I even get to be the "dropped out of college" girl. Of course we all know I'm back in school, I guess the author of the article didn't get the memo.

And as far as the "bucking up" is concerned, that phrase makes me laugh uncontrollably.


p.s. Kudos again to Marlene and her mad "screen cap" skills!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

this and that:

So Friday came and went, free of class but filled with a stressful day at work nevertheless. I found out this morning we had a record week (filling over 1500 prescriptions total)...I thought so!

I was a little bit worried, feeling as if I am just "too old" to manage a full plate (maybe)--but apparently I am going to be just fine.

first week of classes + record week at work =
a really good reason to be very tired

September brings a lot of wonderfulness to the world! All the college football games AND the U.S. Open has kept me on top of the remote control today.

What happened Michigan? What happened Maria Sharapova? Andy Roddick (absolutely brilliant) & Tommy Haas (nail biter) are both into the 4th Round, WOO!

I have a new Tennis Star to watch: American John Isner has some mad skills. I think if he were playing anyone else (not Roger Federer) he could've won today. Ah well! Anybody from RMK Championships reading? BOOK THIS GUY NOW! Pretty please, with sugar on top.

Back to School: I got both of the used textbooks I ordered in record time. I am so excited. I am now using my Lab Manual to notecards for Bio II. We have a quiz on Tuesday.

Must Memorize: Eukarya. Animalia. Chordata. Mammalia. Primate. Hominidae. Homo. sapiens.



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