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.
You guessed it..The school year here at Judson is picking up. I decided to take Autobiography Writing this semester to help me with my med school personal statement and writing skills in general. One of my classmates, Caitlin, was talking about her study plan before class. She arranges short homework assignments between large ones to stay pumped. I'm going to have to take a page out of her book.
Yes, I'm feeling just a little burned out! Last week was a serious killer. Between painting, a paper, homework, lots of reading, and my work study math study session job, I got to bed way later than I would've liked every single night and had to get up much earlier than I wanted to every morning. It's Labor Day weekend and although I'm sleeping later, I still have to study every day. Grrrrr!! It's easy to get so many projects going that you don't have time for yourself! I'm sure that's true at every college or university.
This morning I did take some time off to go to the beach with my Labrador and boyfriend. Yes, believe it or not, there is a really nice sandy beach within 15 minutes of Judson! Perry Lakes Park/Barton's Beach is a fun place to go when you need a tan or just some chill time away from the books. During our time there, we saw kids playing in the river, neat birds, people with canoes, a ton of amazing butterflies, and several Judson students! I seriously need to buy a butterfly book!
This afternoon, I've been reading James Elkins' What Painting Is for Painting class. I've also been working on my AMCAS computerized medical school application. It'll get sent to UAB and South Alabama. My MCAT scores are supposed to be posted next Tuesday. Hopefully all will go well and I can be in med school next fall. If that plan doesn't work though, I'll be in a good place to get in the next year. Will try to make a dent in my Spanish vocabulary tonight for Spanish 1 Test 1 coming up next week..
Everything's starting to settle as far as schedules, classes, and plans for the semester are concerned. When I was planning course loads, I had the idea in the back of my mind that I wanted to have time my senior year for mostly fun classes that wouldn't really have anything to do with my majors and minors. Now that my fun courses have all started, I think it was a smart decision. During lunch break today, I went over to the art building to clear up a few bad spots on a shoe still life I'm doing for one of my Painting I projects. Surprisingly, although the paint shoe still doesn't match the real leather shoe, I'm getting attached to it.
I need to get some PVC pipes attached to each other. I'm currently in the setup stage of a Biology Honors Project, "The effect of photoperiod on hatchability and hatching time of wild type Northern Bobwhite Quail, Colinus virginianus, and the Tennessee Red Quail color variant." I turned in a prospectus to the Judson honors committee outlining my procedure. While the procedure was ironed out and approved, there are a few pieces of it that need some starch before the experimentation can begin. Because the project is concerning effects of light periods, I'll work in a closet with as little light pollution as possible. Opening the door, light from the crack under the door, changes in hall lights, and anything in the vicinity that can emit, reflect, or affect light might cause light variation on the hatching eggs. A PVC frame covered in black fabric around the incubator will help. If I can make the frame almost as large as the closet, it should work. I need to hurry up and get to building! Dr. Wilson, my main honors project sponsor put me in touch with Moore's Gamebird Farm near Marion. The Moores have been kind enough to help me with the quail eggs. I'm not sure how far into the year they will be able to get eggs though!
While I'm on the subject of projects, I'm the subject of a project. The amazing Dr. Betty, Judson's voice instructor, will show her powers of transformation this semester. I'm signed up for one of her one hour private lessons. Last fall and spring, I took half hour lessons. Dr. Betty is slowly but surely moving me away from my only semi decent lip syncing to actually belting a song out loud and being on key. She's been trying to convince me to sing on stage, but so far I've had the strength to resist. I've finally decided that while I'm stumbling shoes first off cliffs in my other courses, I might as well toss myself off of one more..
Today, the Saturday before the first Sunday of fall semester, is possibly one of the coolest days of the Judson calendar. Bright and early at 8:30 am this morning, seniors began tromping through ivy beds around campus, pulling and snipping ivy. Second years taught new freshman how to use the ivy we snipped to make long, thick ivy chains to be carried tomorrow. All Judson students will walk with the chains as a group to Siloam Baptist Church, the church that Judson's founders attended. In Judson's traditional songs, we sing that ivy chains bind Judson sister to Judson sister. While snipping ivy, it was nice to feel part of a quick, effectively communicating group. Like Christmas elves, everyone had their respective job to perform. No job was any more important than any other, with the exception the senior class president, song leader, and people from student life who are responsible for coordinating and organizing basically EVERYTHING for Rose Sunday!
I'm looking forward to tomorrow, my next favorite day of the year! When we walk, we'll be doing something that Judson girls have been doing since Judson was founded in 1838. At Rose Sunday rehearsal, Judson's president, Dr. Potts, spoke about the days of old when Milo P. Jewett, one of Judson's founders and first president of Judson, tapped his cane at the steps of Jewett Hall inviting the Judson girls to walk with him to church. At Judson, I feel like part of a legacy. My mother attended Judson, singing some of the same Judson songs, and going through most of the same traditions (some I can tell about, and some secret ones!) that I've been through. A lot of these traditions, like Rose Sunday, connected my mother to classes way before just as I am being linked to her class. Even if my mother hadn't been a Judson girl, I would still be in awe of Judson's rich tradition. Some Judson songs like the Judson chant make chill bumps pop up on my arms whenever I hear or sing it. Judson girls are connected both through the ages and in the present. The day before Rose Sunday always leaves me amazed by how we came in a seemingly random group, but in a few weeks are already joined, stronger and more confident.
I'm Caroline, the Marion-raised daughter of a Judson girl, a former home schooler and participant in 4-H cattle shows. Currently, I'm a biology/chemistry double majoring senior attempting an honor's project and aspiring to be a medical school student.
I hope that you can learn from the past and present experiences I share in this blog. There are a few mistakes I made and opportunities I missed that you hopefully won't make or miss if you heed my ramblings!
Well to begin, the biggest thing on my mind right now is the scores from my MCAT (The Medical College Admissions Test, a computerized test which plays a huge role in my med school application). I took it August 6th. Because of a two essay writing section, I won't get my scores until September 8th. The wait is killing me! If you even slightly think that you may do anything in the sciences, take math, biology, and chemistry basics as early in your Judson career as you can! If you don't, you could miss a major, a minor, a work-study job, or maybe just a really neat upper level course. I had never had a chemistry course before Judson, and put it off until I couldn't any longer. When I finally bit the bullet, I did well enough in Dr. Williams' CHE 101 and 102 not only to become a chemistry major, but also to get a random job working down the street at Marion Military Institute as a chemistry lab assistant! The chemistry repetition I got from the job at MMI definitely made preparation for the MCAT easier, as did Dr. Williams' and Mr. Stiefel's weekly MCAT tutoring sessions.
While I'm giving success tips, here's another: If you enjoy the sciences, plan to fill your summers with summer programs, or at least shadowing. There are a ton of AMAZING expenses paid pre-med summer programs out there like the SHEP program at UAB that I did last summer. Some programs give preference to or are only available to freshmen and sophomores or junior/sophs. It is to your advantage to pick a general direction early, but to still be open to opportunities, even ones that don't precisely fit your career goal. I didn't take advantage of summer programs my early years at Judson and wish that I had.
When I first started Judson, I was also slow to run for club or class offices, thinking that I wouldn't be taken seriously as a shy day student (a student who lives off campus rather than in a dorm like a traditional student) or would be out of the loop. Once you find your niche, getting involved isn't difficult, even for a day student! Because of my interests, science organizations were an easy place to begin participating. Last year, after holding minor positions in science and honor organizations, I was elected president of the Judson chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. With Judson's Science Club, Tri Beta obtained the help of community and health groups to host a diabetes awareness walk on Washington Street running through downtown Marion!
All in all, I've been happy with my time at Judson. Every time I think about the MCAT scores, it hits me that this is my last year. A little sad for someone who's gotten as attached to ol' JC as me! I hope this blog can show you what life here is all about and give you a few tips for having smooth and enjoyable undergraduate years.
If you have questions or concerns about anything Judson or something I wrote, feel free to leave a comment! Comments are great! I'll either comment back an answer, or try to shed some light on the topic in my following blog.