Monday, July 26, 2010

OC VB summer check in from travelling Amanda

Hey all,
My summer is going great so far! I’ve been traveling a lot, hanging out with friends, and relaxing as much as I can before the busy school year starts. Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve done and what I still have left to do.

In June I went to Mansfield, Ohio to support Liz during Miss Ohio week. It was fun, intense, and crazy to see how much work all the girls put in. After that, I went home with Liz and spent a few weeks in Connecticut. We mostly just hung out, but the more exciting parts of the trip were attending the PGA Tournament and going to Cape Cod for the 4th of July weekend. While there we did lots of fun things like hitting up the beach, going whale watching, seeing fireworks, and some shopping.

I came back to Wisconsin around mid July, but right away went up north with friends. For those who don’t know, “up north” means that you stay in a cabin, cottage, or camp somewhere in Wisconsin north of where you actually live (I think the unofficial cut off is that you must be at least north of the Dells for it to count as up north, but that’s just my opinion). Since then I’ve had about a week’s worth of birthday celebrations because getting all of my friends together on one day is almost impossible due to where everybody lives and crazy work schedules.

Currently I’m coaching a volleyball camp and I don’t have any other big plans until August. I can’t wait though because in the span of a week I’m having a friend visit from Ohio and we’re seeing a concert, I’m going to Minnesota for a weekend, and I’ll be hitting up State Fair which is always a fun time. The only bad thing about this summer has been the severe weather. My area has seen two rounds of tornadoes and severe flooding. The first caused us to lose every tree but one and we needed a new roof put on, and the second caused unprecedented flooding in several counties that is still not all cleaned up yet (perhaps you saw on Yahoo or something about the sinkhole in Milwaukee that swallowed an SUV…not good).

All in all my summer has been amazing. I hope to have a great next 3 weeks free of scary weather and then I’ll be seeing everybody back on campus!

Monday, July 19, 2010

OC VB summer check in from Meredith in the exciting city of Rye

Hi all! My summer has been pretty busy thus far. Like some of the other girls I've attended my fair share of concerts including Carole King & James Taylor, Passion Pit and Tokyo Police Club, Jack Johnson and most recently Dave Matthews Band. I've been trying to take advantage of my proximity to both the beach and new york city.

My town, Rye, is right on the water and we also have a theme park here, Playland and the beaches attract people from all over. It's especially fun to go out to the beach on the weekend nights when Playland sets off fireworks! I've also spend some of my free time with my dog Cody, this is his first summer with my family since we adopted him in September. On milder days we'll walk down to the beach and along the pier. However it has been so hot lately he'll just accompany me on a lounge chair in the back yard. I've been going down to one of the private beach that I belong to almost every Saturday and Sunday. LI sound has been so nice I've gone swimming everyday in it... it could be that I'm paranoid I won't be able to if oil reaches New York!

Last week I met one of my friends after they got out of their job in NYC we went to Bryant Park for a picnic dinner and they had an outdoor yoga class going on, there must have been 200 people doing yoga it was funny to watch but we were tempted to join was too bad I was wearing a skirt!

This is my second summer working as a camp counselor at one of the many country clubs in Rye it's been fun for the most part but definitely difficult on the 100 degree days. My group of girls are between 7 and 11. I'm most excited for tomorrow which is tie dye day! Today was fun even though it rained, we made up our own version of California Girls to sing at the closing ceremony and the girls are very excited to have our own original song to do.

Other than that Rye has been under Coyote watch, they've always been around in Rye because we're near the water and have lots of marsh land and small nature reservations where deer live. But recently the Coyotes have gotten more aggressive and bigger! They've attacked a couple kids in our town but the kids have all gotten by with stitches and rabies shots. This morning I even saw three deer in my neighbor's yard, and I live on a main street! And we have a saying in Rye
"where there are Deer the Coyotes will come". But after I saw the Eclipse movie, I'm hoping it will just turn out to be Jacob Black coming to hang out with me haha!

Overall I've had a pretty fun summer, it probably helps that now I'm feeling tan and fit! I can't wait to move in and get to see everyone again! Enjoy the sun!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

OC VB summer check in from Chinwe in beautiful San Francisco

Helloooo from San Francisco! For those of you who don’t already know, I’ve been on the West Coast since May 24th, interning at the University of California, San Francisco, in the Diabetes Center. This is my first major research experience, and I love it so much more than I expected to. My project consists of studying decreased metabolic function in humans with age. Certain neurons in the hypothalamic region of the brain respond less and less to leptin (a hormone responsible for regulating energy intake and expenditure) as time goes by and create what we call “rings” in this section of the brain. My mentor has done a bunch of research and found out, not only that information, but also that the formation of “rings” correlates with age-related weight gain. However, she has only done these studies with male mice. My job this summer is to see if the same holds true for female mice and to see if estrogen, or the lack thereof, plays a role in the development of “rings” and age-related weight gain.
Other than being a complete nerd and enjoying all of the super science-y aspects, I love the lab atmosphere and personal. I work with people from the United Kingdom, Egypt, Russia, Sweden, China, France, Spain, Brazil, South Korea, Burma, the Netherlands, and India, just to name a few places off the top of my head. Being around so many different languages and cultures is super refreshing, especially when everyone is really nice and down to earth. The best part was how competitive people got during the World Cup; it was lots and lots of fun.
Even though I spend hours and hours with my face attached to a microscope, I have done quite a bit of sightseeing, attended San Francisco Pride (which was AMAZING), and even driven down the state to Santa Barbara twice. My family arrives tomorrow (Wednesday) for a short visit, and we’ve planned to go to Napa, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and maybe even take a ferry to Alcatraz, so exciting! Overall, the best, best thing about the city is how fashionable people are. I’ve picked up a lot of new things; you’re all going to be so proud of me for wearing stuff other than sweatpants come this year.
Other than that, I’m missing you all so much. Pacific Time is pretty difficult for me, I don’t like being on a different social schedule than everyone in my life. Truth be told, I’m really an East Coast girl. On a happier note, I was just watching the video on our Go Yeo page yesterday and I must say, we look pretty darn good. I’m excited to get back in the gym, especially with our new players, and dominate (as dear Tammela Platt would say)! Be thinking of me when I head to Atlanta on August 3rd to present my research, and I can’t wait to see you all come August 18th!

Monday, July 5, 2010

OC VB summer check in from Anna in Dairyland

Hey Guys!
Anna here, checking in from America's Dairyland. I'm here in Madison, Wisconsin this summer working as a neurogenetics intern in a lab in the genetics department at UW Madison. We are working with Drosophila (fruit flies) and trying to determine the genetic factors that influence the development of the neuromuscular junction (the place where the brain talks to the muscles). I have a lot of independence in the lab this summer, which is nice. I am planning my own experiments and so far have been fairly successful. The internship is a lot of work, but it is motivating me to work even harder in school. Other than the job, I have spent a lot of my summer writing essays for fellowships that I am applying to in the fall and studying for the GRE which I will take right at the end of summer.

I have had some time for fun, though. Madison hosts the Midwest's largest fireworks display which called Rhythm and Booms. The fireworks display starts with a true military F16 flyover and the whole show is set to music which is played over the radio on a local radio station. They shoot the fireworks over the lake, but people gather with their radios in different places all over the city to watch. My friends and I took some canoes out on the lake this year and had a picnic on the water while watching the fireworks right over our heads. I couldn't believe how close they looked! I also had the chance to go to Summerfest last week. Summerfest is America's largest music festival and it goes on along the lakefront in Milwaukee with 11 sound stages playing simultaneously. I headed over with some friends for a few days of food and fun, and I got to see Usher, The Heavy, The Bravery, Modest Mouse and a couple of others (the picture above is from The Bravery). This weekend, I am heading off to California to visit family and soak up the sun. Hope all of your summers are as good as mine!