Apr. 24th, 2011 10:37 pm
ase: School day icon (Academic Happiness)
Done with classes; 84% in one class and 89.2% in the other. With an 89.5% cutoff for A- in the second class, I am less content with my B's than I might otherwise be.

Next step: program applications, including essays. Didn't I go for science to avoid essays?
ase: Default icon (Default)
Me: ...and analytical chem can DIE IN A FIRE. An uncalibrated fire!
Roommate Number Three: Why do you always study at the dining room table?
Me: You've seen my tiny computer desk. With that in mind, would you say I'm taking up 60% of this generous table, or 80%?
- Socratic dialogues of 2011

Study table. Please note this picture was taken before I added my analytical chem materials (and dread old McMurray, to clarify one point) to the stacks.

Is anyone reading this planning to go to FOGcon in SF? It's an easy day trip for me, so I'm probably going to attend and renew my fannish roots.

Unflamey excitement this weekend has been shopping for business camouflage casual. Goodwill came through on button-downs, sweaters, and practical black pants. DSW furnished aggressively sensible office shoes and slightly less dowdy loafers which might go back; my big toe wants to poke through the leather, and I'm not sure that bright stitching will clean up nicely. Shoes with no laces and leather are a wardrobe novelty: left to my own devices, I trend toward running shoes, jeans and t-shirts, occasionally upgrading to Mary Janes with a fancier top. I'm still not sure if December's attack of Girl was a healthy indicator of personal growth, or a psychological fungus brought on by excessive winter rains. Either way, 2011 may the the year my professional wardrobe finally levels up.
ase: School day icon (Academic Happiness)
Didn't I switch from a chemistry major to biology to avoid exactly the sort of spectrophotometric blah blah blah "rocks fall hemolysis rises" I'm slogging through today?

Learn from my mistakes. If you pass quantitative chemistry the first time, it might be worth petitioning its acceptance as your clinical analytical chem prerequisite. If you screw around instead of studying, turn in lab reports late, and miss a passing grade? You have to do it all over again.

If I ever have to explain analytical chem, I'm explaining it as one long quality assurance / CLIA / CAP story. Everything's going to start with a law number and end in the guts of a machine. Take that, specimen blanks!
ase: Default icon (Default)
If I ever taught immunology, I'd teach it as Genetic Defects of the Immune System. Ninety minutes of immune system, maybe broken up a bit with 30-45 minutes of student presentation(s), and 30 minutes of applications, or And Then You Die (without a bone marrow transplant).

I'm just saying.
ase: Fake science icon (Fake science)
Ha ha ha, a Gram negative bacteria has LITTLE PEP(...tidoglycan). Get it? Get it?

Oh, Svedberg. Only a biologist could make 30 + 50 equal 70.

Whoever decided to name staff-straight bacteria streptococci and grape-clustering prokaryotes staphylococci is on my anti-mnemonic hit list.

Didn't I swear I'd never again review the B-lymphocyte lineage sober?

Two squared is four. Therefore, MHC class 2 molecules interact with CD4+ cells.

It's kind of sad to contemplate, but here it goes: the current cluster of differentiation nomenclature system might be an improvement over immunology's previous naming / numbering system.

I will not burn Kuby Immunology at the end of the semester. Burning books is immoral. If it spontaneously catches on fire during the final, well, that's a different problem.
ase: Golden Gate Bridge icon (SF: Golden Gate)
Back from my cousin's wedding! She is happily hitched, I happily saw my family, I had a window for every leg of the trip, and my flight home picked up a tailwind, to my delirious joy. The approach was southeast-to-northwest over the Bay, letting me revel in landmarks: the San Mateo bridge, the Bay Bridge, Sutro tower, the Transamerica pyramid and financial district skyline, until Potrero Hill intervened; and thanks to fog doubling as a backdrop, the very pointy tops of the Golden Gate Bridge span.

The only stain in my happiness are this week's midterms. The medical microbiology midterm is multiple guess of principles I am comfortable applying; the immunology midterm has me ranting to unsuspecting roommates about fractal knowledge bases and pedagogy. One way or another this class will drive me to drink: before I review the blessed B-cell lineage, or after I BS the blessed cytokine questions.
ase: School day icon (Academic Happiness)
First, I survived volunteering for Oakland Pride. The biggest incident I dealt with all day was Roommate Number Three's long distance text message, "what do you do for multiple wasp stings?" Many sighs of relief all around.

Second, I got to drinking and then I got to thinking: at what point does a blogger need to watch her (or his) words? When do you become a public figure, or a public persona? At what point do you have sufficient following that people will call you out for not checking your facts, or for constructing a spurious or misleading entry? No particular trigger for this, just the powerful combination of bad booze and blog-surfing.

Third, the immunology textbook needs to decide if it's describing immunologically active molecules by location, lineage, or activity first, instead of doing all three at once, badly. If immunologists lock themselves in a conference room until they standardize their nomenclature, that would be nice too. A rant, masquerading as an example. )

The fifth edition of Alberts' Molecular Biology of the Cell, which is so awesome it needs to update only about twice a decade, throws a polite temper tantrum in the preface, then standardizes protein and nucleic acid capitalization for the purposes of the textbook. If only standardizing immunology were so simple.
ase: Fake science icon (Fake science)
"Blah blah blah biochemistry (or whatever is at hand)."

"Now a historical example! [Researcher] was investigating [topic highly relevant to lecture] during [historical context]. S/he had a question: [why am I seeing this / what is this thing I am seeing]?"

"They hypothesized [blah, possibly with illustrative diagram / chalkboard doodle]."

"To test this, [famous experiment]."

"When the researcher did the experiment, they saw [results, with pictures / diagrams / charts / animations / chalkboard doodle]. This was [in line with their hypothesis, or surprising]! It turned out that [biochemistry]."

"Therefore, we know [biochemistry] because [keywords relating to historical example]. The take-home message is: [one or two sentences]."

Questions may be - even should be - solicited after any hard return, as well as any other time the teacher sees eyes glazing over.

The take-home is key: what is the core concept? Knowing what the teacher considers essential tells the student what is a colorful but noncritical aside, and what is a key detail necessary for their knowledge base (and passing the test).

The structure is also important: deliver different material in the same way, so students can home in on what you're looking for (context, hypothesis, experiment and results, conclusions, take-home).

This message brought to you by this week's ABO typing example, which managed to do all this except a succinct take-home. (I think it was something about haptens and epitopes, but I'm still confused on the biochemistry.)
ase: Photography icon (Photography)
Seven geeky icons, with (what a surprise!) a biology/biochemistry bent. Please comment and credit if you take. Feedback always appreciated. 3 and 4 are from one of my non-lj friends; 1 and 5 from the science jokes website.

Hope you enjoy!

1.) 2.) 3.)
Plus four under the cut. )
ase: Default icon (Default)
Call me a bitter undergrad, but everyone's about to get the pedagogy lecture. (We know I've jumped the shark because I said "pedagogy" with a straight face.)

First: if you are writing on a blackboard, stop talking.

Second: if it's important, put it on the blackboard. Like this: "important term: means this." Corollary: no tangent should be longer than two minutes.

Third: if you are drawing a graph, label your graph, just like freshmen are forced to do in 100-level classes: title, axes, units. If you draw multiple lines on the graph, label the lines.

Fourth: if you put up an equation, put up what the pieces mean. Telling me that No/(Nt - No) = e^-[nF*(psi-psi0)/RT] is only useful if I know what psi0 represents, and also that No is Nopen, not Nzero.

Fifth: if you can't do any of these things, and it's a 400-level class, find your sub-discipline's equivalent of Albert's all-encompassing Molecular Biology of the Cell. Tell your students about it. If it costs more than $150, put it on reserve at the library. You should do this anyway, but if you're hitting your marks in lecture, a good fallback textbook is gravy, rather than essential.

Bonus: powerpoint is like salt. A little is a good thing, but a lot will kill you. Dump it at the door with the rest of the trash.

Bonus #2: I have never seen anyone go wrong with colored chalk, except by forgetting to bring it.

So perhaps I needed to let loose a bit. )

Good news: I wrote my rant! Bad news: I still don't understand voltage-gating in channels. Busted on the procrastination front.
ase: Bad day icon (Science bad day)
We're back to the [ profile] ase versus homework staring contest. Is there some kind of rule that biophysics resources must be written at either the high school or graduate level? The lack of good resources describing the math between "some things go through membranes, but most things don't!" and generalized equations written by twentieth century geniuses is driving me bats.

In the name of not completely losing my sanity, bent humor icons. The first two are independent ideas; the third is from this science jokes website. If you'd like one, boilerplate commenting and crediting would be deeply appreciated.

1.) 2.) 3.)

People are having conversations about Amnesty International presentations on torture right next to me. It's like a punchline to my homework whining is just waiting to happen.


ase: Default icon (Default)

April 2017

2345 678


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags