Sitting here on the seven-foot beanbag throne in the middle of my friends’ room (best impulse buy ever, Alex and Olivia) it’s dawned on me that Intersession is almost over. While the end of Intersession is something to be upset about, not only because it marks the end of covered grades, I’m really just going to miss the experiences I’ve had over these past three weeks.
The class I’ve been taking, Foreign Gene Expression Lab, has been amazing. I’ve been lucky enough to have JHU_Hayley as a lab partner, and despite her difficulties with enzymatic digests, JHU_Hayley’s been amazing to work with and has gotten us out of some tight spots. Essentially, what we’ve been doing has been creating a recombinant bacterial plasmid to express a specific gene product. If that sounds like gibberish to you, don’t worry. I had no clue what was going on when the class first started. But over the past three weeks I’ve developed an understanding of the process of molecular cloning, and the techniques therein. I never thought I’d see the day that creating a miniprep of a pMC-1871 plasmid would be as mundane to me as getting up in the morning, but that’s the kind of familiarity with molecular cloning techniques that this class brings. Foreign Gene has challenged me. It has forced me to think about molecular biology in large part through the purview of chemistry and physics, something I hadn’t really done before. From 9:00am to 2:00pm everyday, the class has been a lot of work, but also an incredible and worthwhile learning experience.
There’s been more to Intersession than just bacteria and lysis buffers though. I’ve made some great memories with friends, from going to a free bookstore known as The Book Thing and picking up 18 books in one afternoon, to dominating at trivia with JHU_Nick. I even had the chance to go home to spend some time with my grandma who’s visiting from Hungary, and my incredible girlfriend who just got back from Israel!
Intersession surpassed my great expectations, and now that it has come to an end, I am looking forward to starting my second semester at Hopkins, and seeing what the spring will bring.