Spring Semester Second Half Crush

My high school had two semesters and four quarters so each half of the semester was clearly marked with a grade and a finals week that signified the end of sections. This lead to a more enjoyable break without extensive homework to do as new content was beginning after break ended! However at UPS and most colleges I believe, there are no two quarters within a semester, all the work and learning leads to a semester grade and midterms is a very real busy week but often vary in intensity and actual timing due to various types of assignments.

Beyond that with graduation and the end of the year imminent, there are so many events and extracurriculars that all students are participating in and attending. Of course spring is also the best season!! Senior and junior performances, thesis presentations, national subject conferences, and much much more!

Here’s a small snippet of the weekend plans that are coming up this last few weeks before graduation!*

April 1st: Largest home track meet, Puget Sound Decision Day, Phi Sigma (STEM) Research Symposium, (for me) Theta Formal, Senior Theatre Festival (STF) Performances

April 8th: Parents Weekend: Luau, STF, Opera Performance

April 15th: Sigma Chi Derby Days Philanthropy, RDG Performances, STF, Underground Sound Concert, Garden Level Concert; Easter; Pesach

April 22nd: Jacobsen Series Performance, STF, ASUPS Lectures w/ Janaya Khan

April 29th: Relay for Life, Tacoma Bike Swap,




*These are all events I’m aware of! Not including club activities, other greek life philanthropies and formals, etc.


Science All Day Everyday II

Here’s the second part. And if you haven’t read the first part, click here.


BIO 212 – Light microscopy

In this lab, we learned the different microscopy techniques (bright-field, dark-field, phase-contrast, fluorescence), because looking at small objects requires more than just placing it under a microscope. These techniques allow us to manipulate the microscope lens (changes the light) to better view certain things.

BIO 311 – Fruit Flies


In this lab, we analyzed the transmission of a trait and tested for genetic drift between small and large populations. Our test subjects being fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. To do this we observed multiple generations of fruit flies, looking at gender and the mutant trait (“white” eyes). To determine gender and if they had the mutant trait, we looked at them under a microscope. But to prevent our subjects from escaping, we would blast them with an air of CO2 to make them sleep.

CHEM 231 – Titration/Urine Vitamin Lab

Of all the labs, this was definitely the most memorable (and not necessarily in a good way). We had used the titration method to determine vitamin c concentration in urine samples (our urine samples). So, coming into lab that day, everyone was toting around a brown paper bag with containing cups of their urine samples. My lab partner and I looked at the difference between consuming Vitamin Water and orange juice. Although interesting, the smell was not pleasant.

CHEM 250 – Jacobsen’s Catalyst


This is a major project done in organic chemistry that is done around the second half of the semester. Just mention “Jacobsen’s” to any student who’s taken organic chemistry, and they’ll reply back with a groan and an “Ooh my god,” as they remember the long hours spent in lab, but mostly the time spent writing the report (20+ pages). However, after complaining about all the effort they had to put in, they’ll immediately talk about how awesome it was to do it. For me, there are so many cool things about this lab that I won’t be able to fit it all in. The biggest one would be the fact that we had the opportunity to produce a popular reagent used for enantioselective epoxidation of alkenes.

From this lab, I’ll definitely remember bright, highlighter yellow product we made.

*PLUS, Jacobsen actually visited a couple weeks back! It was an experience to be able to attend a couple of his lectures.

Honorable Mentions

CHEM 213 – titration and glassware calibration + glassware calibration

The Best Thing

The best thing about Spring Break is nothing. Absolutely nothing.

There’s nothing to worry or stress about. Nothing to do. Nothing.

It’s an incredible feeling after a crazy Spring semester so far. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have nothing to do.


It’s always the things we haven’t done ever or in awhile that we think, “oh, that’s fun! i want to do that!” and for me that was traveling. I was lucky enough to travel to DC this spring to attend the JStreet National Conference with Hannah (pictured in the brunch photo) exploring all of DC’s amazing sights and weather! Honestly traveling is one of the amazing opportunities afforded to you in college. Many clubs have national affiliations with regional or national conferences that host amazing keynote speakers, thought-provoking breakout sessions and you get to meet amazing people from other colleges and parts of the country! Just because you attend a West Coast conference, not everyone who goes to schools there are only from the West Coast! Additionally since conferences are part of club activities or school supported activities (since you’re representing the school) there are many ways for various clubs, student government, finance, academic departments, etc. to subsidize costs of travel! It was my first time to DC and since I didn’t have classes, Hannah I arrived at the conference a little early and stayed later to soak up full days of exploring! It’s the original experiential learning experience!

Science All Day Everyday I

Being a biology major, most my time is spent in lab. In addition to lectures, almost all sciences courses require a four-hour long lab once a week (though sometimes we don’t use the whole four hours). And being a Senior, I have taken a fair amount of science courses. Looking back at the courses I took, I am astounded by the variety of labs we’ve done. So I wanted to make a list of all the memorable labs/experiments for each science course I have taken/am taking (some with pictures!).

(Since this list is pretty long, I have divided them up.)

Most memorable experiment done in lab (Sophomore Year)

BIO 111 – Biofilm*


We tested the effectiveness of four different treatment (enzyme amylase, cranberry juice, honey, kanamycin (antibiotic) on biofilm formation of the bacteria Pseudomonas putida. To test this, we used crystal violet dye which stains biofilm a vibrant purple color, so the amount of dye correlates to the amount of biofilm formed.

*biofilm is a biological layer made up of a group of microorganisms that stick together and adhere to a surface

BIO 112 – Bird Flight

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We measured the amount of lift that was exerted by different bird species wings. This lab was memorable because of this crazy “contraption” (aka a wind tunnel) we used to measure lift. It was such an unusual sight see. There were these just giant, coloured, plastic tubes set on the table tops. Inside these wind tunnels we would then clip in the wings, which was connected to a balance to determine the amount of lift.

BIO 211 – Species Richness

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This was one of the few labs that did not require actually being inside of a lab, and was more of like a “field trip.” In this lab, we looked at species richness* in intertidal zones. To do this, we took a little trip to an area close to Fox Island. Under the Bridgeway there was just a plethora of aquatic organisms: anemones, crabs, mussels, and star fishes (just to name a few).

* the amount of different species

CHEM 120 – Synthesis and Recrystallization of Aquapentaamminecobalt(III) nitrate

In this lab, we created cobalt(III) complexes by oxidizing cobalt(II) salts with hydrogen peroxide, and using ammonium hydroxide and ammonium nitrate for our ammonia source. We then used recrystallization to isolate our desired cobalt(III) product, which involved increasing pH of the solution. This was my first occurrence with recrystallization, so it was interesting to be able to see crystals forming as it cooled in the ice bath.

Click here for part II.

*Excuse me for the poor image quality, they were taken when the Iphone 5c was the new “it” phone


A Walk around Campus

The last time I think I took a walk through campus was probably not long after moving in Freshman year. A floormate and I just explored campus and got to know it better before everyone else got there.

But since then, I haven’t really explored. I’ve just been too caught up with life and busy with other things. But today, I had nothing to do. No tests to prepare for, no midterms or papers, nothing.

So I decided to do what I haven’t done in so long and take a walk. I texted one of my friends and we met up by the Donor’s Circle in front of Trimble with my camera. And then we just started walking.

We started at the Donor’s Circle and walked to the President’s Woods. Then we walked in between Thompson and Schneebeck before heading over to Wyatt. From there, we walked past the track meet towards the Fieldhouse. We talked down the street from there and turned onto Theme Row, finishing our stroll through campus at the SUB.


A tree in the President’s Woods


The side of Thompson


Ran across this at Wyatt


Ran into Nathan on his way out of the gym. The face only a mother could love.


Looking down Theme Row


Looking at Thomas Hall from Seward


Life is tough right now. Next week is midterms. For some, graduation is coming and the real world is on the horizon. For others, there are still a few years left here. For our country, well, I’m just not gonna comment on that.

Anyway, I feel like I need to inject some positivity into our world. So here are some wholesome memes:




My fraternity is actually planning on doing something like this. It’s gonna be pretty freaking awesome.




Same though


To all the seniors out there

I hope everyone reading this enjoyed it and their day was made a little brighter. For more wholesome memes, check out https://www.reddit.com/r/wholesomememes/

Representation Matters

While its exciting to see how far we’ve come to celebrating each others differences I know we still have so far to go and the media is a big influence on that. Growing up we get a lot of of cultural understanding and societal expectations from books, the news, movies, tv shows and music. Children don’t see race, they see you and me and everyone else all as people until they grow older and realize some characteristics that make us different, ones we are proud of have, others can see as something else. This story of a young boy who wants the same haircut as his friend to trick his teacher just shows how much our differences don’t need to matter. http://www.today.com/parents/boy-wants-haircut-look-his-friend-trick-teacher-t108795

Moana, (which I haven’t actually seen, don’t shoot me!) has captured my heart even without seeing the full movie. A story about Pacific Islanders, of darker skins deeply resonated with me. I grew up with stories of Maui, the Hawaiian Superman, I love the ocean and its as much a part of me as everyone who lives in the Pacific. What makes this movie even more meaningful is that Disney took the time to recruit and cast individuals of Pacific Islander descent to play the leads. Dwayne Johnson grew up for a short time in Hawaii and is Samoan. And the lead, Auli’i Cravalho is a 16-year old girl of Hawaiian descent from Hawaii! The lead production team traveled across the Pacific learning about the nuances of the various peoples from island to island and incorporating those values into the stories, the characters and songs of the movie. Opetaia Foa’i is a Samoan musical artist who wrote beautiful songs in Samoan and with the values he grew up to keep the authenticity of Moana. Its so exciting for me to see this culture and story inspired by the islands I grew up in can be shared across the world, with those who haven’t had the chance to visit the Pacific, to know these peoples. Representation matters.


**As of spring break I SAW MOANA and cried many happy tears and emotional tears, connecting with the trials and tribulations of Moana, Maui. And a joy for Auli’i and all the artists who contributed to make Moana authentic!