Monthly Archives: October 2010

Drama-rama on the field

This week was the week of tests for everyone in the sciences. Physics, biochemistry, botany, molecular biology, and organic chemistry all had an exam sometime this week. This, of course, led to exorbitant amounts of stress for everyone who steps foot in Olin Hall (the science building), and kept us all clustered in our study rooms throughout the weekend and most of this week. I personally had a molecular biology test the day before an organic chemistry test, and was eagerly looking forward to being done with both of them.

That relief came at about 8:30 last night when I turned in my chemistry exam (we take organic tests at night so we have more time to work on them). Since I had just finished off a stressful streak of studying and test-taking, I thought that a great way to spend the rest of my built-up energy would be to go join my sorority’s intramural flag football game that was starting at 10. When I got down to the field, I found out that the team I thought we were playing had already forfeited, which meant that we were now playing for the championship, and that we were matched against the athlete team… which naturally struck a healthy dose of fear into my heart…

As soon as we started playing, I tried to rush the quarterback and felt something happen to my knee. I’ve had problems with it for the past year or so from playing tennis, and none of the doctors could find anything immediately wrong with it. But last night was the final straw. So I took a seat on the bench, not wanting it to get worse. The team we were playing were pretty intense, and I watched some girls on my team get roughed up. We kept them down though, and managed to get two touchdowns without letting them score any points. As soon as the second touchdown was scored, however, I saw one of my girls go down and scream while she held her hand. When I got a look at it, I saw that the top joints of her finger were at almost a 90 degree angle to the rest of the finger. Off she went to the hospital…

Never have I ever seen an intramural game get that intense. We stopped play, as it started to rain, and will resume next week. Obviously, our team now feels that we have to make the injuries worth it by winning the championship.

I did find just another reason that I have the best friends in the world here though. Two of my friends that were at the game insisted on carrying me to the car from the football field. Their joint efforts proved to be a little uncoordinated, which led to one of them exclaiming, “Just give me Madeleine!” as she carried me like a baby to the car, and then from the car to my room. I was laughing the whole way because I could, in fact, walk… it just felt weird. Then they made a midnight run to Walgreens to buy me an Ace bandage. Friends like that are hard to find, and I realize that I’m so lucky to have so many! I can’t wait to watch them kick butt next week on the field…

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Remi

Fall break was especially wonderful this year. I always love going home for a break: getting to sleep in my room at home, a nice, somewhat quiet house, an opportunity to put down my books and visit with my family, and, of course, getting to make the menu for the weekend. This fall break, however, we added another member to the family. Her name is Remi, and she’s an eight week old chocolate Lab.

My dad called me the other day with the news that we would be getting a new puppy. I was even more excited, too, because I was the one who was going to get to pick her up from the breeder. We were picking her up from a small town that is on the way home for me, so I got to do the honors.

Remi is hilarious because she has huge bursts of energy where she runs around at full speed, gnawing on things (usually my hand, feet, or ponytail if I’m on the ground), chasing tennis balls, and barking at inanimate objects. Then, she stops and falls asleep wherever she is. We called her the narcoleptic puppy all weekend. She also loved to sleep in my lap. She would crawl in and go to sleep, and if I picked her up and moved her to the floor, she would wake up, crawl right back into my lap, and get right back to dreaming. It was precious.

Taking care of a new puppy was like taking care of a baby. We tried to sleep when she would sleep, or get chores done, because when she was awake we had to watch her like hawks. We had to put her to bed like a baby too; get her to fall asleep while we were petting her, then sneak out of the room without waking her up so she wouldn’t cry. Despite losing a little sleep, I miss her terribly now that I’m back at school. I might have to make an extra trip home, so that I can still play with her while she’s small and cuddly.

The only members of the family that aren’t thrilled with Remi are our other pets, Blue Kitty and Coco (our 11-year-old chocolate Lab). Other than those two, everyone who sees her falls in love. I wish I could have taken her back to school with me!

Fun, sunburns, and BBQ

Yes, last weekend was homecoming. And it was a whirlwind of a weekend. I especially love homecoming weekend because lots of recent alums come back to visit; now that I’m a junior, lots of the friends I have made in the past two years have graduated, so I only get to see them in Jackson for occasions such as these.

It’s always amazing to think back to everything you did over a weekend like homecoming. To give you a look at what I mean, over the course of about a day and a half, our sorority had an open house for our alumnae, we went to the football game, volleyball games, worked to raise money for my sorority’s national philanthropy, ate lots of barbecue, ate at restaurants, went out each night, I had to babysit (womp womp), visited with old friends, visited with new friends, watched movies to relax, and somewhere along the line found some time to sleep a little. Not to mention I tried to talk to Major Millsaps (the mascot) at the football game, and all he did was brandish his sword at me. How nice.

The only negative thing I encountered the entire weekend was a glowing sunburn on my back and shoulders from the afternoon spent behind the end zone at the football game. The rest of the weekend was wonderful. I even got to watch one of my good friends get crowned Homecoming queen in the middle of the football field. Go Kristin! ow! Ow! And once everyone was gone, I rounded out Sunday by staying in bed all afternoon, sleeping and watching TV. I wish I could do all this every weekend.

Presidential business

I have the feeling that all of the Millsaps students will post something about today’s inauguration on their respective blogs, Twitters, facebooks, etc.  And for good reason; the program included a beautiful ceremony with highly respected representatives from all over the state, as well as a yummy catered lunch in the bowl (the center of Millsaps’s campus, the best place to see and be seen, and where important gatherings are held, such as graduation), all under clear skies and surprisingly low humidity for Mississippi. Today, Millsaps inaugurated the 11th President of the college, Dr.  Robert Pearigen.

The set-up began back on Monday, with the installment of sound systems that blasted test music throughout the bowl on random occasions, and the placement of scores of chairs and tables with white tablecloths, so we knew it was going to be a nice day. This morning, the visiting representatives from institutions around the country, as well as representatives from each graduating class (going back to 1935, I was surprised to learn), the faculty in their academic robes, and the student body took their seats and listened to the greetings and blessings from leaders such as the Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi, the bishops of the Methodist and Episcopalian church, and award-winning author and editor of Newsweek, Jon Meacham.  I felt important just sitting in my chair on the grass in the presence of these people.

Everybody who attended today had to have enjoyed the celebration (at least because we got out of classes all morning), and I know that my friends and I walked away feeling inspired and instilled with confidence in our school and our leaders. I know I usually write sarcastic, funny blogs, but today was really a solemn, gorgeous occasion, and will go down in Millsaps’s history… it doesn’t exactly lend itself to comedic interpretations. I’m so glad I got to witness this as a student, and that I will have another year and a half to watch the growth of Millsaps under Dr. Pearigen’s leadership. It’s always exciting to start a new chapter of an institution, and we are all anxious to see the possibilities we have imagined come alive.

Lab woes…

I was in the organic chemistry lab this week working on a recrystallization experiment when disaster struck…

I realize that not everyone reading this is as interested in science as I am, but I have to give you just the slightest bit of background so you can better understand my embarrassment. For the lab, we were taking an impure sample of a certain compound and purifying it. To do that, we had to boil the solution, then put it through certain filtering techniques until we could recrystallize the solution without all the impurities that it had before. Now, it takes forever to boil something when you start with a cold sandbath (what we use to heat the container with the solution), so I had been waiting for quite a while. When it was finally putting off lots of vapor (which, by the way, smelled so strong it could literally knock you back), I had to pick up the flask that the solution was in and pour it slowly through a gravity filter that was balancing precariously on another flask. I made a little grip out of paper towels so I wouldn’t burn my hand holding the heated flask and got in position to pour. As I did this, the genius biochemistry professor that was helping us came up and stood next to me to watch me do the procedure. I started to pour, and the situation started to go downhill. As the boiling liquid hit the funnel, it knocked it off-balance. This sent the glass funnel and flask crashing down and spilled the liquid that I had been waiting on for half an hour. Of course, as soon as the liquid hit the desk, it recrystallized and became impossible to use. It also sent boiling water onto my leg (fortunately I was wearing jeans so it hurt less than it would have), and broke all the glassware that I had been using. All of this right in front of Dr. K.

Dr. K was very nice about the whole thing (he didn’t make fun of me… always a plus), but that didn’t change the fact that I had to scoop my little crystals off the desk, throw them all away, and put a new batch on the sandbath.

My week hasn’t been all bad though. I did have an intense molecular biology exam, but it is all being glazed over by the beautiful, cool, fall-ish weather that we’ve  had in Jackson, the recent fundraiser called Delta Desserts where $5 buys you all the desserts you could possibly eat without going into a hyperglycemic coma, and the fact that my sorority is having our first swap of the year with one of the fraternities on campus. All things considered, despite the blow to my ego and the burn on my leg from lab, there’s not much to complain about right now. And I hope it stays that way.