Tuesday 6/19

This morning Cody called me to wake me up and I helped him pick which classes he wants to take next semester.  He has a phone meeting with his summer advisor tomorrow to finalize his class decisions.  I know he’ll pick some great classes, you can’t go wrong at Skidmore.  Then I went to the financial aid office to check some forms, and then it was off to the lab.

I sat at the computer and started to type my data into SAS when Denise McQuade, my bio lab instructor, came up to me and said hi.  She asked me if I wanted to help her with some new mice that she just received from SUNY Albany.  Of course I said yes, I love Denise and I didn’t feel like typing in a bunch of numbers.  So I helped her unload her new shipment of mutated mice.  The containers they were shipped in were so hard to open!  We put them in new cages and gave them food and water.  And then just as we were finished, Abby came into the lab.  I was 10 minutes late to journal club!

Luckily I didn’t miss anything.  I grabbed a slice of pizza and mingled for a while, and then the group that was presenting started.  They talked about morphometrics and using procrustes analysis-a process in which pictures or models of skulls are scaled to the same size and specific points are compared to see how different they are to show evolution.  It was really interesting and I really liked the math behind it, although the actual student researchers didn’t seem to.  After the meeting, Abby talked to me about possibly doing my own presentation in the future.  Maybe in a few weeks I’ll be writing about that 🙂

When I got back from journal club I went to go finish typing everything into SAS, but somehow the computer I needed to use got shut down.  I was so upset because I never saved my work, so I had to start all over again.  I went to restart the computer but when I tried to log in, the password that is written on the computer tower didn’t work.  I couldn’t figure it out, and Aaron couldn’t figure it out, and eventually the computer locked us out because we put in the wrong password so many times.  So I waited around for Bernie, did some literature searches, and checked on the mice for a while, but Bernie was nowhere to be found.  So I emailed him and went back to my room and waited for him to email me back.

Finally he did and I came back to the lab, he figured out the computer, and I typed in all the data.  We ran lots of statistical tests on the data, and we looked at the actograms that I had printed out yesterday.  We saw a lot of variance in the data so we tried to run more tests in order to find a quantitative way to measure that.  In the process we found that a program that we normally use to find the Qr’s of the data has a lot of “fun” features, including a circadian rhythm diagnostic health questionnaire, a computer synthesized symphony, and an interactive pronounciation guide to circadian rhythm terms.  Bernie and I got a kick out of it.

Once we were done with everything we needed to do today, we realized that it was almost 8:30!  I missed dinner so I decided to go to Chipotle and get a burrito that was roughly the size of my head. Talk about procrustes analysis!

And that just about ended my day.  Now I’m just skyping with Cody (whose internet is fixed) until bedtime.  Thanks for reading!

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About kararode

Hey! I'm Kara, and I am creating this blog as a sort-of diary to keep track of my summer research experience at Skidmore College. It is such a great opportunity and I don't want to forget a single bit of it! Feel free to read and take a peek at what it's like to be me, working in the laboratory as a "real" research scientist :)

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