Caroline Price *Caroline Price graduated from Judson College in 2010. These are her archived student blog entries.*
Hello all! I'm Caroline, one of the "Senior Year" category bloggers. I plan to graduate this June with a Biology/Chemistry double major and a French/Marine Biology double minor. I'm a day student, commuting from my home only a few blocks away from campus. Feel free to leave blog comments, ask questions, or look me up on Twitter.
I'm on the way back from the Alabama Academy of Science meeting at Alabama A&M. According to Dr. Wilson, this is the 11th straight year that Judson students have presented at the Alabama Academy of Sciences.
It was a good experience! Public speaking is definitely something I want to work on. I presented my paper "The effect of photoperiod on hatchability and hatching time of Northern Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virgianus) strains Jumbo Wisconsin and Georgia Giant" covering the first two batches of quail from my honors project. Elyse McIntyre, a science education student from Judson, also presented a paper titled "Expanded coliform sampling of four Perry Lakes Park aquatic environments." Our faculty sponsor/advisor Dr. Thomas Wilson and Elyse's parents attended.
We got to hear several interesting presentations. One that really stood out was a by Dr. Brain Keener about an upcoming website called the Alabama Plant Atlas. The atlas will be a sort of plant encyclopedia for all vascular plants found in the state of Alabama. There is no current overall taxonomic guide for vascular plants in Alabama, just regional guidebooks. Once it is complete, anyone will be able to upload pictures they have of different species of plants which will be placed on the site after being checked by an expert. Other papers in our session were concerning vegetated roofs of buildings, another paper discussing human type coliform bacteria in the Fish River, a taxonomic study of Alabama Blenny Darters, an analysis of frog and salamander population studies, and one on chromosomal DNA inserts in mitochondrial DNA. It's definitely a small world! The moderator of our session was Dr. Brian Burnes, a former biology professor at Judson. Dr. Burnes taught me Physiology, Developmental Biology, and Microbiology, and also sponsored the Judson Chapter of Water Watch when I was a member.
Jr/Soph weekend is this coming weekend. It crept up on me this year! My brain feels like it's swimming just with school work and obligations, so I've been trying to put off thinking about social events until the last possible moment. There will be a Jr/Soph dance "Where the Wild Things Are" Saturday night at the Birmingham Zoo. Thankfully I picked my dress earlier this year. It's a red strapless semiformal with a full calf-length skirt. I chose it mostly because it should be easy to dance in. Unfortunately I made a bad decision and chopped my hair a few weeks ago to shoulder length and am still getting used to fixing it. Luckily Mary at Tangles, a hair salon in downtown Marion, was nice enough to fit me in Saturday morning!
I'm planning to go with a group to the dance. It'll be me, my friends Susanna and Bev, and Bev's sister Deborah who goes to Samford. Being an all female college, it's not unusual to be dateless at a Judson dance. People just go and have fun, no worries. The dance starts at 7:00 and there will be animals there until 7:30, so I'm hoping that we can get there early enough to get some good pictures with them in our formals! If we get a good one, I'll add it!
Tonight I'm putting the finishing touches on my paper about the first two batches of quail (fluorescent light, light deprived) for the April 1st meeting of the Alabama Academy of Science. I'll do a run through of my power point presentation tomorrow afternoon for Dr. Wilson. I already have the revised honors project proposal and abstract, so really just have my results and conclusion sections to add into the paper. It's already after midnight. I wish papers could write themselves! On the bright side, I am treating myself to coffee, listening to Pandora radio music, and drafting a blog. It isn't so bad!
I'm nearing the end of the Judson chapter of my life. I'm finding myself packing my schedule a bit more than I used to. Over Spring Break, I couldn't get myself completely out of school mode. My sister is the same way. Because of our similarity we didn't get to see each other. The plan my family worked out was that my parents would go to visit my sister at the University of Houston so that she could stay with her practice piano (she's getting a major in piano performance) and I would stay in Marion and work on my projects. I got to shadow Dr. W. Shane Lee at the Vaughan Marion Clinic and on his nursing home rounds Monday through Thursday. My eggs are doing well. The last batch of eggs came in Sunday. I was able to stick them in the incubator Monday over lunch break. I've done a lot of thinking and a little work too on two upcoming papers - one on Gaucher's disease for Biochemistry and another about vegetarianism during pregnancy for Biochemical Nutrition.
Even being in Marion instead of hanging out in Houston with my sister, I had fun over break. My mother is very picky about the food we keep in the house. Anything too desserty either gets used as sugar in a milkshake or gets fed to the chickens, no joke. Monday I saw a caffeinated brownie mix on a site and since my mother was not there to scold me, decided that I'd make my own version. I just did a normal brownie recipe, but instead of adding liquid, I added coffee. The first batch was alright. The second that I made later in the week was a killer though. I got a little carried away with the coffee pouring. Instead of the few tablespoons that the first batch had, I added 2/3 cup instant coffee powder to the liquid. The whole batch fit into an eight inch square pan, so quite a bit of coffee per brownie. I got a headache when I ate 2 of them. That probably isn't healthy. I looked up caffeine toxicity. According to eMedicine, 10 or more grams are lethal, so considering that one cup of coffee has only 85-250 mg, I think I'm definitely alright. I really don't think I'll make them again though. The only other crazy thing I did other than the brownies was to take two of my three dogs to Perry Lakes park in my car. I took the black lab Solomon and mutt Town Dog. They had a good time and got insanely muddy. I have a hatchback and put the seats down so they could just jump in the trunk, but mud still got everywhere, even on the windows. It'll take a while to clean the car, but we all had fun. It's finally feeling like spring!
My first Biochemistry test is this coming Monday. Biochemistry is the first class that I've taken under Dr. Bartley, an adjunct from UAB, so I'm more than a bit nervous about the test. I've been carrying my Biochem book around with me all week, studying a few paragraphs here and there. Earlier today I started making molecules out of modeling clay and writing them repeatedly on my dry erase board. Normally for my biology tests I highlight lecture material and write it on note cards, then just memorize those. I think this time I'll just memorize the few things that I know will be on the test, then focus on the broad concepts. There will supposedly be a lot of "thinking questions."
In addition to writing this blog, I've taken a few breaks from Biochem today. The first was the SaveFirst tax preparation program that I mentioned in previous blogs. I've committed to doing taxes Saturdays from 9am-3pm. Thankfully for my Biochem studying, there weren't any appointments today. This afternoon I called Judson alum Dr. Daveta Dozier to schedule shadowing. She and her husband, Dr. Frank Dozier, have a clinic in Thomasville and have been very kind to let me follow them around. Throughout the day, I've been checking on my quail chicks and quail eggs. My incubator thermostat hasn't been acting very well, so I'm monitoring as frequently as I can. This batch of quail was raised under a 20 watt plant grow light. Eighteen chicks hatched. Considering that no new ones have hatched in the last two days, that's probably all that I'll get from this bunch. My thermostat problems are annoying as I don't know whether the low hatch rate (18 chicks out of 50 eggs) is due to the thermostat or the light treatment. A girl from Judson who keeps birds took 10 of the chicks with her when she went home yesterday. Earlier today I took the remaining 8 to a guy who raises quail.
It seems like it was just an hour or so ago when I woke up. Actually it's 10:30 at night.. My first few years at Judson, I worried that I was socially awkward due to my shy personality, nerdiness and homeschooling. I pushed myself to participate in Judson traditions and other social events. Now it's all that I can do to keep up with my obligations. This weekend I was planning to visit a good friend in Tuscaloosa who is getting married soon. Last night, a Friday, I realized that I was already in jittery cram mode for the Biochem test and had to call and cancel. I wish I had photographic memory... Back to the Biochem!