4 months have come and gone, and I haven't made so much as a peep. The last semester is in part to blame. Between Organic Chemistry, Microbial Ecology, Analytical Chemistry, and my independent study, I was fairly swamped and didn't have enough brainpower to really think about any of the significant issues. Of course, the last semester ended a month and a half ago, so I can't entirely blame that. I know that the four or so people who actually read my blog on a regular basis are just crushed by my silence.
In any case, things have been busy here. I took the GRE three weeks back, and that turned out very well. With 90th percentile in verbal, 93rd in quantitative, and 87th in writing, I can feel comfortable knowing that my GRE scores will only serve to help me get into graduate school. Also, over the last three weeks I've been doing a summer internship at UC Denver's Anschutz medical campus. I have to say, the thing I'm most surprised about is the raw amount of reading I've had to do. There are days where there just isn't a lot I can do on my particular project, so instead I read up about the basic principles surrounding it. I now know more about miRNAs and gammaherpesvirus 68 (a mouse model for the virus that causes mono) than I ever thought I'd know.
Beyond that, though, it's fantastic. I've gotten to learn how to do RT-PCR, and my first experiences working with RNA have gone surprisingly well, considering how easily it likes to degrade on researchers. I've done my first cell cultures, and even got to set up a viral plaque assay. While I walked into this program feeling overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge, I feel like I'm developing new skills every day. I may not be stellar yet, and there's more than a few techniques I still haven't done and don't quite grasp, but I'm becoming more confident that research is really the career for me. (Even if the amount of reading dense material is a bit insane).
Life outside of science is still good. The girlfriend is still awesome. The house (lacking air conditioning) is still unbearably hot. My friends are still supportive and all I could ask for in friends.
Until next time, my friends.