Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 In Review

So it's a little early...usually I do this on the first of the year, but I'm going to do it now instead.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
I drove to Iowa by myself, drove without being able to see out the rearview mirror, put together a flatscreen television, and started genealogy research.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
How bad is it that I don't even remember my new year's resolutions? I have no idea. I should probably write those down or something.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Ummmm, I don't think so.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my grandfather John died in January. It was really hard. He died of lung cancer caused by smoking cigarettes. Do not smoke!

5. What countries did you visit?
Canada. I went to the Stratford Shakespeare festival.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A garage for my car. Seriously, it's one of the things that I really want in my next apartment. I feel so bad for my car sitting outside all of the time.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory?
I moved to Ames on August 1st. John died on January 26th.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting into graduate school at Iowa State!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm not really sure I had a major fail this year. That's a pretty good thing.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My anxiety disorder got out of control again; now I'm back on antidepressants.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I just bought a new flatscreen television to move into the 21st century. I only did it because my old TV's power button got stuck in completely so I could only turn it on with the remote. It's an awesome new TV so I'm glad I bought it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My brother has done a really good job on his research this year, and he's presenting at a math conference.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one really made me appalled or depressed. There were some people that were a little annoying, and there were some people that made drama, but it was more amusing in a pathetic sort of way.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Hunziker Property Management and Liberty Mutual. Oh, and Hyvee.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting really good grades during the fall semester!! I got 5 As, one A-, and one B+!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Edge of Glory-Lady Gaga

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
Happier or sadder: Happier! Much happier.
Thinner or fatter: A tiny bit thinner.
Richer or poorer: Poorer, although sometime this year I'll probably get richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Working out. Cooking. I got a new cookbook though, so hopefully I'll do more.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Having anxiety attacks. It's really hard to get anything done afterward.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with my family! I am so lucky!

21. What was your favorite month of 2011?
June, because we went Up North again and it was awesome. I wish we could go every year because it's so great up there.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Nope. I haven't met anybody yet.

23. How many one-night stands?
None. I don't do one-night stands.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Mythbusters! I wish I could be on the show. It would be the coolest job ever. Also I like Ghost Hunters but that's my guilty pleasure.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
I barely read any books for fun this year. It's a bummer. I really liked Marvel House of M and Civil War. I know those technically are comics and not books but I don't care.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Uh, I really didn't have any this year. Adele, I guess.

28. What did you want and get?
A new television. A nice apartment.

29. What did you want and not get?
Quiet neighbors. They're alright, but not the best.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I really liked X-Men First Class, but I also just saw Sherlock Holmes 2 and it was really good too!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 24, and sadly I was by myself in Ames. But my parents gave me a huge box to open and it had lots of Legoes in it, so I built lots of Legoes.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Living close to my family. I miss having them close by.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Pretty much the same as last year-more fancy than t-shirts, jeans, boots.

34. What kept you sane?
Star Trek! Hanging out with Tessa and Mike!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Robert Downey Jr.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Oh god, politics right now makes me want to hit things. I hate listening to that crap right now.

37. Who did you miss?
My parents, my grandparents, and my Michigan friends Jasmine and Eric.

38. Who were the best new people you met?
Bryon is pretty cool; he's one of my classmates.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
Family is really important to me and I want to be closer to them when I leave graduate school.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
One day I'm here, I'm on top of the world/And the next it's falling in on me/I can get back on, I can get back on-Far Cry, Rush

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Blessings

I was feeling a little down earlier today, because I was thinking about how I have to drive back to Ames on the 27th and how homesick I would be. It really had me all out of sorts and I was getting post-holiday depression before the holiday was even over. But then I realized how blessed I really am. I get to be home with my family during Christmas. A lot of people can't be with their family, or they don't even have anyone to share Christmas with. So even though I have to leave and go back to Ames, at least I got to spend Christmas with the people I love best. It really made me reconsider how I was feeling, and even though I know that I'll be sad when I go home, I also know that I am really lucky to get to be home for Christmas, and that makes me very happy and very grateful.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lions Vanquished

I'm home for Christmas right now, so I don't have a lot of time or desire to compose a gigantic blog post, but I decided to pop in because my grades came back. I got a B+ in Biochemistry, my nemesis, an A- in genetics, and As in everything else! My GPA is a 3.79, which is higher than it ever was in undergrad. I am so happy and so relieved. Finally I feel like I can really put the Georgetown debacle behind me, because I've proven that I can do well in biochemistry and I can be successful in a graduate program. What a relief!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Good news, everyone!

I'm officially done with my first semester of graduate school! I took my biochemistry final this morning. It was a pain in the butt because I had to take it at the Online Testing Center in Carver Hall. They seriously do not have enough room in there and I had to wait in line for at least twenty minutes before I got a spot. If Iowa State is really into the online stuff they need to expand that center to serve more people during finals time. Anyway, it went alright and I figured out that even without the curve I've passed all of my classes this semester. Grades are posted by the 21st so it shouldn't be too long before I know exactly how well I passed everything, but I know I passed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Almost Done

Well after all the pain and agony of the fall, there's just one exam standing between me and the successful completion of my first semester of graduate school. Thus far I feel a lot more confident about my grades. I already know that I got an A in both Micro 551 and 553, and I passed 604 and Ethics. I'm sure I got at least a B in Micro 552, although I really don't know more because I don't know my second exam grade or if there will be a curve. That leaves biochemistry. I finished my extra credit homework today, and I have 16 extra points that will be added to my grade after the curve is determined. So if I can manage not to bomb the final, I could get anywhere from a B- to an A- depending on the curve. So yay! This is way better than Georgetown.
I also emailed the next professor I'm rotating with to make sure that we were still good for me to rotate in January, since the last time I had talked to him was...probably September. He responded really positively and after I get back from my holiday we'll meet and get a project set up. So I'm looking forward to that as well.
Next semester could be interesting. I have three more of the Micro core classes left: Fungal biology, Virology, and Ecology and Environmental Monitoring. The last one will be the most boring, but that's okay, I get why they think it's important. I also have to take the second semester of biochemistry. One of my classmates has heard from Vet students that it is incredibly hard, so I'm a little nervous. I'm hoping that they're blowing it out of proportion or that I might not find it as hard because I've done a lot of signal transduction work. I just hope that I'll have enough time to manage it all without feeling like I'm going crazy.
Speaking of being crazy, last week I started taking Celexa. It was a bit of a blow to my ego because I didn't want to go back on an SSRI, but I know that it'll help me so I'll do what I have to do. Next semester I'm starting a group therapy session as well focused on anxiety and depression so hopefully that will help. It's frustrating to have to deal with all this but it seems that my brain's signal transduction pathways are permanently altered, so I have to figure out how to deal with it so I can function normally.