Monday, July 9, 2012

First Full Day At VSA

Good morning Vanderbilt! My first morning at Vanderbilt was very calm and stress free. Thinking there may be a line for the showers, I woke up 30 minutes early.  However, there was no one in the bathroom. I got ready pretty quickly and then headed down to eat breakfast. All the food here has been pretty good, and there is a lot of variety.

After a good breakfast with my proctor group, we each met with our teacher assistant’s to head over to our classroom. The Pharmacology classroom was not too far away, so I’m thankful I don’t have to walk too much in this heat. Our professor, Michelle Sulikowski, is a professor at Vanderbilt teaching in the biological and chemistry sciences. She also directs the research program here, so we are very lucky to be able to be in a classroom setting with her.  I am glad she is not strict, but rather very kind and willing to help with our needs.

After we got to know the students in the class a little better, Dr. Sulikowski went right into discussing the syllabus of the class. She is the type of teacher who is an expert in her field, so she could go on and on about different things all surrounding the concept of drugs.  From organic chemistry to motivated reasoning, she began to give us an insight of what knowledge we will gain over these next few weeks.

Honestly, I was pretty overwhelmed with all the information, but I expected it. Being taught college curriculum is really different from any high school class. I didn’t understand everything she said, and I know I will be challenged as I study Pharmacology. Our time spent in class today mainly surrounded the topic of chemistry. Dr. Sulikowski is making sure we are all at the same level with general chemistry before we go in depth with the study of how drugs work. There were many things that were new to me in chemistry that I didn’t learn during my sophomore year, but fortunately I caught on pretty easily. With Yessenia by my side, the knowledge of another girl at my table (who by the way took AP Chemistry), and of course our professor, I was able to understand everything. One thing that I found very fun in chemistry was learning how to draw organic structures. I enjoyed changing the Lewis structure to the KeKule structure. I’m beginning to enjoy chemistry, and as I continue to dig deeper into the sciences of drugs, I may be interested to study it in college.

We also began reading a book about the study of drugs, and I found it really interesting. It not only discussed the sciences of drugs but also how it greatly affects our society. I learned that a drug is any substance that is put in your body and changes your bodily condition. Many people know that cocaine is a drug, but many don’t know that drinks with caffeine are also considered drugs. There are many controversies about just the definitions concerning drugs, and I’m excited to put my debate skills into work, as we will also hold debates in our class concerning these topics.

Although this class will be very rigorous, with just a load of information to take in, I am excited to learn much, much more. From watching educational videos, to exploring the research labs here on campus, I can’t wait to bring this information back to my own community.

Of course we had lunch in between two class sessions, and I especially enjoyed choosing from the dessert area. There were endless things to choose from, including: cookies, brownies, rice krispies, tarts, cakes, and even pies. I ended up eating a delicious, strawberry shortcake.

Getting to know my proctor group more!
This was also our first day of ArĂȘte classes. I was put into a dance class, and it was quite fun. We learned two line dances, and throughout this week we will also learn Bollywood and some Latin dances. By the end of this week we will perform in front of everybody. It’s really cool to be able to learn different things and stretch across my own comfort zone. I’m not the greatest dancer, but I really enjoy doing it!

We had a nice American dinner, and then had Trivia Night! We were all split into groups, and my proctor group was called Survivor Sisters! The topics of the rounds ranged from history to music. Honestly, it was pretty challenging and tiring just thinking about each question. Unfortunately, our group didn’t win, but we did our best and learned a lot of facts we didn’t know!
The Survival Sisters!

It has been a long, first full day here at VSA. I am looking forward to a goodnight’s sleep tonight for another busy, but fun day tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment