Monday, June 30, 2008


This weekend involved a lot of soccer – Saturday, I went to Gillette Stadium (also the home of the New England Patriots) with a bunch of PRISE people to watch the New England Revolution defeat Toronto FC 2-1.
We were seated in the hardcore fan section, and the game became even more exciting due to the five-year-old boys in the row behind us who stood on their chairs and shouted things like “It would be great if the referee had eyes!” and “Noooooooo!” in high-pitched voices. Sunday was the final game of Euro 2008 – Spain vs. Germany. Although I was rooting for Germany (being part German), it was a good game all around and Spain came out the victor.

During the week I went to lab. One thing a lot of people don’t realize about lab work is how many times you get things wrong before you get something right. Case in point: my PCR reaction should have amplified my DNA, but when I ran a gel no bands appeared. No good. So I spent much of last week with my postdoc trying to figure out what was wrong. It turned out we had to tweak the temperature and length of two of the cycles. Similarly, my friend purified his DNA, only to discover that there was actually no DNA there. Also no good. My dad would always remind me of Thomas Edison and the light bulb – legend has it he tried 1000 times and no light, and finally, on try 1001 – light! At least he knew what not to do.

Outside of lab, I went to Boston Tea Stop and got boba tea with Veronica and her blockmate Gracie ’11 Monday night, which made me miss my blockmate Cara ’11, who recently dropped her phone in iced tea for an extended period of time and is currently accessible solely via e-mail.

On Tuesday, PRISE’s Distinguished Speaker Series kicked off with Professor Erin O’Shea, who has too many titles for me to list here, but she received her PhD in 2 years (from M.I.T. and in Chemistry!) and is well known to Harvard undergrads for being one of the teachers of Life Sciences 1a. Her talk was about the “Mechanism of Oscillation of a Three Protein Circadian Clock”, and even though I was tired from a day at the lab, I found her talk and her groundbreaking research engaging and interesting.

The next afternoon I took a risk and ate lunch from the Chinese food truck on Oxford Street, and while I thought I was going to die, the Chicken Lo Mein was pretty good and apparently many of my friends eat from said truck daily. I also noticed a cute sign on the door of Fairchild for applying to be a TF for Life Sciences 1a, namely, that while Life Is Good, Life Sciences Is (also) Good.

On Thursday, PRISE’s Seminar Series started with a talk by our director Greg Llacer on Fellowships and Proposal Writing, with one of the main points being to know thy audience, which is important for blogging as well.

Friday was the MCB Departmental picnic, which is “the departmental event of the year” according to Brendan. The Biolabs Courtyard was filled with tents, food, and fun. The food ranged from hamburgers, hotdogs, and corn on the cob to snow cones, cornbread, cupcakes, and brownies. Many of the professors and students brought their families, and their were activities for the kids as well, including crawling through tunnels, spraying each other with water, and – my favorite – the parachute. Sadly, our picnic was cut short by a mini monsoon, but it was great to see all my PRISE friends who work in other labs, talk to others from my own lab, and play with the adorable daughter of Professor Victoria D’Souza, who taught my Freshman Seminar Unraveling HIV: One Molecule at a Time.

Friday night I headed over to the Central Square Block Party, which featured few recognizable songs, but was enjoyable nonetheless and resulted in Mass. Ave being closed for a few blocks to the dismay of the #1 bus drivers.

While my week was certainly filled, I wasn’t able to fit in everything PRISE had to offer. Saturday morning my roommate Veronica and the PRISE team headed over to Boston Commons for the first ever Boston wide Scavenger Hunt, featuring clues that led to historic and famous landmarks like Postal Square and Frog Pond, and later she and a bunch of other PRISE fellows went on a tour of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

Finally, this entry would not be complete without WALL•E (short for Waste Allocated Load Lifter Earth Class), a little robot who embarks on a cosmic space adventure with his robot love Eve and brings humans back to Earth. I am referring to the Disney movie WALL•E, which I saw last night and which I think is one of the best movies I have seen, (especially considering the lack of dialogue) and which you should all see. As my friend Aditi ’09 commented, when WALL•E is fully charged, he makes the same sound a Mac does when it loads up, much to the delight of the audience (Yes, I am a Mac user).