Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Challenges=More Confidence

Unfortunately, I woke up this morning with a swollen eye. I’m glad it’s not too bad, but I hope it gets better soon. I'm not exactly sure where it came from, but hopefully I'll find a way to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Our proctor group picture!
Our professor brought us Dunkin' Donuts!
It was my first time eating it and it was the best! 
I tried something different for breakfast, so instead of eating eggs, bacon, and hash browns, I ate Captain Crunch cereal with milk. It was not too heavy, but I was satisfied. It was only 9 AM in the morning, but it was extremely humid outside.  As soon as we entered class, we went straight to a lecture on cancer drugs. Did you know that one in four people in the United States under the age of 80 die of cancer? Everyone has cancer cells in their body, but since most of our immune systems are working properly, our cancer cells are not active; therefore, nothing is uncontrollably multiplying our cells. One interesting fact I learned was that: if you had a CAT scan already, you have fulfilled the amount of radiation exposure you can have in your lifetime. I took in so much information about cancer; this blog would end up being pages and pages long. I’ve come to realize how fast pace this Pharmacology class is, and although I may not understand every single thing, I am able to grasp the concepts as a whole. My professor doesn’t expect us to know every single fact, because she understands it’s a rigorous course load designed for undergraduate students.
This guy always gives you a good laugh!

On our second half of the class session, we began discussing our final project. In groups of three, we are to pick a drug, form three research questions about the drug, research the questions, and come about a way to actually start researching. Now you may think this will be a simple class presentation, but it’s not; we will be presenting to a panel of graduate students! VSA is a summer program where they do challenge you and push you over and beyond what you thought you would be doing at a summer camp. We can’t just sit there and begin forming simple questions; my group literally sat for 45 minutes, with our minds boggling, forming three complex research questions on ADHD/ADD medications. It will require a lot of hard work and confidence to present it in front of highly intelligent group of graduate students, but I know we have the capability to do so.

Fencing is getting more and more challenging each day. New moves, new tricks, and let’s say I’m not the best at it.

Fencing with Narges!
Some awesome people I've met here!
 We had a special dinner tonight with Dean Wcislo, the dean of the Commons building. We dressed to impress to show our appreciation for letting the VSA sessions use this part of campus. We ended the night with an opportunity to read and discuss real accepted, waitlisted, and rejected college applications with Vanderbilt college admissions officers. This for me was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see how college admissions officers think and decide. We were divided into groups and as a group we acted as a college admission committee. In the end, I learned there is not one way to get into college and being a college admissions officer is a tough job. Each individual has his/her own strengths and weaknesses, and there is not one perfect student. With all the college information sessions, meetings with college admission officers, tours, and talks with students I’ve been to these past 3 weeks, the one thing I will always remember is, “Take your passions and run with it.” Each person is different, but colleges are looking for how you will impact their institution, their community.

The sweetest people!
So to all college applicants out there, "Do your best and be yourself!" 

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