Venturing Through …

As senior year is coming to a close, I cannot help myself but to think of what lies ahead.

Venturing Through… Graduation

As soon as Senior year began I found myself counting down the months, then weeks, and finally days until the glorious June 3rd. However as the weeks slowly dwindle down I begin to see myself noticing other things. I constantly realize all of the “last time” moments. These moments can be from “the last time I will wear this uniform” to “the last AP Bio test” to “the last time I will eat lunch at this table.” These moments are becoming bittersweet as I want to hold on to some of them, but I am still extremely excited to be handed the diploma on that Tuesday.

Venturing Through… Summer

Although my main goal this Summer is to finally catch up on some much needed sleep, I still have other summer plans. I plan on watching The Fault in Our Stars on opening night and cry my eyes out with my friends, rocking out at the One Republic Concert, spend a week in LA, a week rafting in Oregon, and hopefully get a job. But worst of all I plan on saying goodbye to all of my friends as week each embark on separate journeys this fall.

Venturing Through… CollegeĀ 

August 28th. That is the first day of the rest of my life. Move in day. This fall I will beĀ attending Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. It is going to be a brand new experience, filled with many adventures. Although I am very nervous for the road ahead, I cannot wait a second longer to venture out into the unknown.

Venturing Through… Biology

I guess I never will be done venturing through biology. At Gonzaga I plan to major in biology. Although plans always change and I can never make up my mind, biology is the subject that brings me a lot of happiness and makes me curious. I am excited to see where this will end up taking me in life.

Venturing Through… Life

I am not exactly sure what I will be doing for the rest of my life but I am sure that if I told you now that my answer would change as soon as I hit publish. Life has a funny way of working out and I am sure I will find out what I am meant to do sooner or later. I am not sure when I will post again, but I do know that I will always be venturing throughout my life. The future really is a funny thing.

Thank you.

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AP Bio Reflection

It is funny to think how in February 2013 the thought of taking AP Biology my senior never occurred to me. It wasn’t until I was in my counselor meeting, with Mrs. Calamba encouraging me to take it, that the idea became real. I remember it was exactly a year ago when my friend Grace and I were freaking out about the class and did not think it would even be possible.

But here we are second semester, May, post AP test. We actually did it. AP biology has been one of the greatest classes of high school for a variety of reasons.

Over the course i have had some fun times trying to learn how to use technology, going on field trips to the beach, writing and rewriting pGLO lab write ups, and of course dissecting a fetal pig.

You learn so much more than just biology in this class. You learn the many improper ways to study for a test (sorry Mrs. Brady and Mr. McKenna), the proper way to take a photo (horizontal not vertical), and how to collaborate as a group.

Of course the last reason this class was the best was the people in it. There may have only been 12 students in the class, but that never stopped us. We all became so close working on project after project together, responding to frantic Facebook posts at midnight, and last minute cramming during lunch. I am going to miss each and every one of my AP Bio rockstars.

Special shout out to Grace for being the best lab/project partner in the world. To Mana and my lunch group for somehow putting up with Grace and I’s constant excitement and AP bio jokes. I really do not know how you survived a year of terrible puns. And of course my parents for not even questioning my weird requests like driving an hour to pick up a puppy fetus from a vet or only squishing the head of a fly and keep it in our freezer for a weekend. Thank you Mrs. Girard for always believing in us and constantly reminding us to “geek out and not freak out”. She really is one of the best.

I am sad to see it go and will miss AP Bio block 3 and 7. Thank you.

Dear Bio Blog

Dear Bio Blog,

I remember the first day I met you. You looked scary, difficult, and like we were not going to be friends. I think I got the wrong first impression of you though, because although we have been through a lot together and you are not as bad as you first seemed.

Sure you are not exactly perfect. I mean who does not love typing in a URL that is how many characters? 37. But I can only blame myself because I thought it was a pretty cool name back in August, and I still kind of do today.

It has been quite a journey trying to figure out how to work you, especially from a lovely iPad. I remember the first time I tried to post something on my blog via iPad and it disappeared each time and I had to stay after school to try to fix it.

There have definitely been some hardships in this relationship, but there have also been some pretty great times as well. I am very proud of what I have turned you into. You started off as a blank white screen and now you are a glowing green masterpiece filled with biology references open to the public.

You are no longer scary or difficult to me, especially since there are many tutorial videos on the homepage. And I think you represent my work pretty. I am proud to call you my friend.

Yours always,
Lizzie

Welcome New Bio Students

Here is an introduction to the amazing year ahead of you. Take a deep breathe, enjoy, and do not be afraid to ask any questions!

LET’S GO TO ZSPACE!

On April 30th my class got to squeeze in one last field trip of the school year. We went to a new company named Zspace, which specializes in 3D learning.

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We were the first ever class to go to Zspace itself and try the new technology. We felt like celebrities when we got the grand tour of each cubicle and then photographed throughout the whole experience. I could really see just how excited and proud the employees were with their work and how we responded to the fun new tool.

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The technology we got to use was similar to a tablet that allowed us the chance for a virtual dissection of six different species. It was unique to see internal structure of different organisms, such as a sea star or lobster, and relate the material back to class. The technology was very cool and I am excited for how the company is going to continue to grow. One of my favorite parts of the tool was being able to virtually lift up each body part out of the screen and watch it on the projector. This was definitely the perfect way to spend my eighteenth birthday.

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The Dissection of Phillis the Pig

WARNING: This blog post has pictures of dissected fetal pigs and is not recommended for the squeamish.

All pictures were taken by the wonderful Hannah Rajasekaran. Continue reading

Is It Nature or Nurture?

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The data mentioned in the Wall Street Journal supports the theory that nature plays a larger portion of behavior than ever thought. DRD4 is the regulatory gene for dopamine, which helps people receive happiness and achievements. There are two different types of people that scientists are determining: the orchids and the dandelions. The orchids are people who do not learn for negativity or distractions and need a warm, structured environment. While the dandelions learn best opposite of an orchid. What does all of this mean? Putting an orchid and a dandelion in the same classroom will not produce the most successful, talented children. A suggestion would be to separate the two types of learners into two classrooms. However when does this all cross the line? If scientists keep determining the different genes that play apart in how humans behave and learn, then how many separate classrooms are going to have to be made? Genetics may play a role in how a person is best able to learn, but for centuries children have been able to adapt to school conditions in order to succeed. Research also needs to be done to determine if having a classroom filled with different types of behavior has any effect on the individual later on in life. Scientists should consider the nurture idea that since current children are growing up having to deal and ‘survive’ with different types of learners that they maybe developing different types of skills that transform them into the future. Should society want to stick with a tradition that has worked to have children learn or will society experiment with schools to find the biggest impact? Only time and sufficient data will be able to answer the question, but in this fast, technological world the question may be answered quicker than one would think.