J-Term Internship

I don’t even know where to start as it has been a long time since my last post. During the fall semester I was so busy with finals I wasn’t able to find time to write anything. I can’t even believe that I made it through that semester, but I did  – and with grades that I am happy with. J-Term was nice because I found an internship in Lynchburg, so it saved me two hours a day not having to be in my car commuting. My internship was working for a doctor at Lynchburg General Hospital. Instead of doing the usual shadowing, he asked if I would be willing to do research. Of course, I said yes! Our research looked at a ten-year trend of antibiotic resistance of four of the five most common bacteria found in urinary tract infections. We also tested to see whether there was a significant difference in resistance rates among the general population compared to nursing home populations. There was a huge difference! We found that the normal “go to” antibiotic given to patients with urinary tract infections had a resistance rate of about 60% in nursing homes where the general population had resistance rates of about 30%. The exciting news is that the doctor I worked with thinks that I have written an outstanding paper and is in the process of having it reviewed by other members of the hospital (infectious disease and pharmacology).  There will be some edits to the paper, but he thinks that it should be published. After all corrections are made, we will be submitting it for publication!

Today is a day I feel as though I am going to be fine and make it to graduation, but I know that I will have overwhelming days this semester. I had to take 22 credits again in order to graduate this semester instead of the fall semester. I hope to take it one day at a time and not become completely overwhelmed by the workload (Wish me luck!)

A busy semester

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving break is already here. It has been such a tough semester for me. I, for some reason, thought that I was superwoman and could manage commuting an hour to school, take 22 credits, and be a wife and mother to my four children. I think that it wouldn’t have been so bad if Organic Chemistry wasn’t at 8:00am five days a week. I find it so difficult to get out of my house on time every day when I am trying to get my own children ready for school. I will say that being a Horizon student and having the Eastnor house available is so wonderful, because there are so many days that I am so busy with my kids, that by the time that I get on the road I realize that I am in desperate need of some coffee. I know that I have a coffee stash in Eastnor just waiting for me as well as the Horizon chocolate stash that can make anyone feel better during times of chaos.

Even though it has been a tough semester, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed this semester more than any other semester. I am a senior this year, and I am taking two upper level biology classes and I find them to be so interesting. I have learned so much about the human brain in biological psychology, and I have been able to use this knowledge in some of my other classes which has been great. I must say that my favorite class this semester has been Developmental Biology. The professor is so approachable which makes learning easier, and the topics are so interesting and applicable to much more than just that class. I find myself actually understanding tests and pathways that are in research articles that I would have normally skimmed over because the methods would be over my head. The lab for that class has also been fun. I don’t feel like I have someone holding my hand the entire lab, and I feel like I am actually involved in what is happening. We have now finished with the structure of the lab and are moving into conducting our own experiments, which is a lot of work, but I don’t find myself complaining because I am excited to be able to have to do my own problem solving. My lab partner and I have decided to observe the effect of “vape” on the development of fruit flies. So, although it has been a tough semester, I know that it will be one I will be able to look back on say “I did that.”