Monday, July 16, 2012

P.O.G.O.s Are The Ultimate Compliments

Just Chillin'
Having late night talks with your roommate is always a great way to bond. However, these late night talks don’t make it easy to get up in the morning. Yes, it was a little hard to drag myself out of bed and get dressed, but I don’t regret staying up so late. Talks like these are really great ways to make close friends – I promise. This morning started like any weekday would; I ate breakfast and walked to class. The only thing different about it was the biscuit with apple jelly I had this morning. It was absolutely delicious.
Anyway, class today was mainly lectures that focused on the chemistry behind retro viruses and why it is hard to find a drug and/or vaccine for it. A lot of the concepts were completely new to me, but I caught on pretty quickly. I had no idea that monocytes and eosinophil were immune system cells. I also found out the options to stop diseases like HIV/AIDS from spreading. Since it uses a host cell to turn their RNA to DNA, chemists can stop this by inhibiting a certain aspect of this process; such has inhibiting CCR5, the proteases, or other proteins to completely halt the multiplication of the HIV virus. This is a lot harder than it sounds, but so far scientists have created many ways to stop AIDS with the newest one using AZT to block the transformation of RNA to DNA.
Later on, we started discussing clinical trials for drugs. All drugs have to go through Phase 1 for safety, Phase 2 for effectiveness, and Phase 3 for a trial on a larger scale to decide whether a drug passes or not. Of course, clinical trials call for clinical volunteers. We spent the rest of the time discussing which people shouldn’t volunteer, who could, and who will need assistance. For example, we went over a case of a pregnant teenage girl who wanted to try a drug in Phase 2. This is especially risky since she is young, pregnant, and an immigrant. After going over the many problems this girl could possibly have, all of the groups had to make their own consent form for the girl, stating the risks, benefits, and rights. Overall, it was a simple task and we nearly got all the necessary facts for the girl. I think this exercise was a great way to help us understand what clinical trial patients go through, as well as what’s required of the drug companies performing the trials.
Nowadays, nearly all clinical trials are done efficiently and humanely; however a few decades ago, it was not required to be done that way. For instance, when the U.S. did trials for baby food, they decided it was best to test it on African babies. Since the African mothers were not given exact directions for feeding their children, many of the babies died. This is obviously horrible, and I can’t believe the testers did this without properly informing the Africans. It is as if they were just animals you can test whenever you want. This makes me grateful for the improved system of today.
My Arête class this week is Glee, a singing class. When I arrived, I was a little nervous since I am not much of singer. However, my nerves quickly went away when I saw that everyone there was really cool. The teachers are also really nice and actually let you sing in any way you like, unlike Choirs where you all have to sound synchronized and exactly alike. I really enjoy this kind of freedom, and I am looking forward to this weeks’ Arête.
My shirt before the blue
Once Arête was over, I head to Hank Ingram to make tie-dye t-shirts. I have only made one before in my entire life so I was excited to create my own shirt. Unfortunately, the beautiful image in my head did not come out as nice. I added too much blue so the whole shirt is pretty much a solid dark color. I really hope the final product turns out better than how it looks now.

Tonight, we also had our daily proctor meeting where we talked about our day and how we felt about it. These meetings are truly great ways to bond – especially with P.O.G.O.s to pass around. P.O.G.O.s is positive gossip written in letter form that someone can write to anyone in the group. Tonight I had about three, and all three were really thoughtful. It is really nice to know that you mean so much to people. P.O.G.O.s really are the ultimate compliments - I feel so loved. In all honesty, my proctor group is really the best group of people I have ever met. I can’t wait for our Proctor Night tomorrow!

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