Bird Brain | Harshita C.

It’s the end of Week 3 of SSP. 

Even typing it out seems insane to me.

It’s Thursday morning as I unwillingly wake up to the sounds of birds chirping outside of my window. At 5:30. While most days I silently grumble and pull a pillow over my head to fade out the noise, I’ll thank the birds this morning. I may or may not have forgotten to watch Dr. Jim Allison’s 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Lecture the night before. Albeit early in the morning, the lecture was so fascinating, and I am really looking forward to hearing more of Dr. Allison’s research into novel cancer therapies later this month.  

A few hours later, I log into our Class Activity block. Our assignment for the day is on the Conservation of our Cdc14 Specificity, and although we were assigned into random breakout rooms, I guess the universe wanted Team 11 to be together: we were all assigned to the same room. Going in and out between the main room and our breakout room (most of our MOE troubleshooting is recorded and saved for future laughs if anyone is interested), we slowly but surely made out way through MOE, literature reading, and English comprehension – the latter becoming more difficult as the number of article pages increased. But that’s one of the best parts of SSP: pushing yourself as we collaborate and help each other. 

Following our Class Activity, I log into Campus Block as we hear from Dr. Ken Paller on the neuroscience of sleeping, dreaming, and memory. Unfortunately, as I soon found out, my sleep schedule is not healthy, but hey, we can blame the birds for that. Who would have thought that a presentation about sleep could keep you so wide awake and engrossed? The research Dr. Paller discussed was enlightening as he described the possibilities of holding ‘conversations’ in lucid dreaming and its implications on memory performance. 

After having a chance to catch my breath after a full morning, I end my SSP day with TA block. Admitting to binging hours of House M.D., one of my favorite shows by far, I am now being swayed to watch all 17 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy by the others in early TA block. I may have to consider it. I like to think Group 11 stays pretty on top of our work, trying hard to finish all our modules so we can play online games (ranked high on that list are Uno on a website that consistently crashes and Monopoly on another website that makes no sense) and have ethical question conversations that, without fail, always take a concerning turn. Today was no different as we worked through the remainder of our Class Activity and Project, calling for help every so often (huge shoutout to the TAs for bearing with us) and debating about the ethics of zoos. By the time TA block comes to an end, I can hardly believe we’re finished with another week of SSP where a day feels like a week and a week feels like a day.