After the tiring week of enzyme assays, excel work, and MOE activities, it was nice to have a day to relax a bit. However, there was not much lounging done. This was because yesterday we were informed that we had saved too much money on our prepaid dining cards, and because there were no refunds, we would have to start spending more in the last 11 days to make sure all the money was used. This revelation sparked a buyout of most of the IU market, leaving the store barren afterwards. Our first scheduled activity of the day, besides the optional lab time in the morning, was a visit to the Indiana University Lilly Library, which houses an incredible collection of books and manuscripts, many of which are open for the public to see. We were able to lay eyes on an original Gutenberg bible, the first printed copy of one of Shakespeare’s works, an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, and many other impactful and ancient texts. The Lilly Library also has one of the largest collections of mechanical puzzles in the world, and the ones that were out were fun to tinker with and solve (and also a humbling experience when one had to help and get help from others to discover the solution). After this, we went to see the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which was put on by some students and recent graduates of the IU MFA program. I completely enjoyed watching a biblical story portrayed with bright, colorful settings, slapstick humor, and many genres of art. I could appreciate just how much time and effort had gone into the production. After the musical, we headed back to the dorms to chat and discuss what we had just seen, and also make sure we weren’t forgetting any important assignments.
Dinner was, as always, lively and fun even if most of the restaurants inside the dining hall were closed. As I sit and watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on our last movie night of the program, I reflect on how much fun we have had so far, and how we only have 10 more days of this program left. Six weeks seemed so long on the first day, but it seems ridiculously short now. I hope to keep in touch with all the extraordinary friends I have made here for the rest of my life. We have bonded over more than science here, we have bonded over shared life experiences, funny stories, late night card games, and instant ramen packets. We have all learned so much, been challenged so much, and had so much fun that if I could go back to day 1, I would not change a thing about this experience.