Bless you Ms. Latus

By Sai K.

“Bless you Ms. Latus. Bless you Ms. Latus. Bless you Ms. Latus. Bless you Ms. Latus”. Beautiful first words to kick off the day.

Bless you Ms. Latus

Now before I get into today’s Monday shenanigans I think it’s worth mentioning the day that comes before Monday: Sunday. Typically we don’t talk about Sunday in SSP because it is the one day that we have off. But this week was different, because Sunday night was the night our groups had to turn in our initial drafts of our report.

For a group that is composed of four djungelskog fanatics with a chronic case of procrastination, this meant all of us were freaking out about the reports and didn’t really do anything about it until two hours before the deadline. My entire Sunday night was filled with formatting issues on google docs, error bars on google sheets (nonexistent error bars, I should say), and ligand docking on MOE blowing up my laptop. We eventually finished, and moved our report into the submission folder at 11:59, only to find out that it was the wrong folder two minutes later. After submitting, I went to sleep, ready for a ‘normal’ next day of SSP, but since when was SSP ever normal? 

[Monday, 7/19]

After blessing Ms. Latus, we had the opportunity to have a college roundtable with our very own IU TA’s. Unfortunately we missed out on Saj’s insights, but the TAs that were present gave us some very helpful, and some other not so helpful advice.

The TA roundtable, but it’s actually a round table. 

The highlight of the discussion would probably be the question about dating, which was directed to a certain TA. 

As the roundtable came to an end, the late block was sent off to our class activity.

This class activity was meant to be a time for us to work on our python searches, ligand optimization, and talent show acts (more on that later), but remember what I said about the chronic procrastination? Burning out after about 30 minutes of productivity, about 12 of us ended up in a single breakout room examining the Lewis and Clark expedition of a trip that William has to take in order to get to his SAT testing center. The more you know about Canadians.

William’s preferred path, involving a ferry. 

We then learned more about Iowa, the home state of three of our IU SSPers. I did not come into this program to think I would learn this much about Iowa. The main takeaways were that Rishabh basically lives on a farm and there is a big butter cow at the Iowa state fair. A whole cow made of butter.

The butter cow. 

At the beginning of the TA block, we were met with a surprise appearance by Dr. Jessica, who told us that the academic directors finished commenting on our initial drafts. Later in our breakout room, we opened our document to find a bit over a billion comments left on our paper by Dr. Oakley (she really cares about the quality of our work!!). The rest of the block mostly consisted of our group trying to figure out how to fix our paper and the occasional cat-prisoner insult for Saj. 

The next pressing issue for us was the SSP talent show. Although we’d known about this since before the program started, many of us didn’t prepare anything until today (like I said, chronic procrastination). So it was up to us to figure out an act in the middle of our class activity block and get it all recorded and sorted out by the next day. There were many acts being prepared, but I can only speak on the two that I was involved with. 

  1. Closer

What was initially going to be a piano-violin duet by Charis and Claire quickly spiraled into a full on music video rendition of Closer by The Chainsmokers. The ensemble consisted of Charis on the piano, Claire on violin, Alor and Coco with visuals and as lyricists, and me on viola, vocals, and harmonica. Much of the day and night from this point onwards consisted of us trying to figure out how to play the music, learn the parts, and how to edit it all together.

  1. TWICE

The second act started off as a joke, but here at SSP, anything can be reality. I had to learn the choreography to the chorus of What is Love by the kpop group TWICE. This was by far the hardest thing I’ve had to do in this program. 

alex learns how to dance

After a couple hours of blood, sweat, and tears, we finally got our recordings in and ready to edit. The most notable aspect of the ‘performance’ that I should point out is the matching outfits:


After some editing we ended up a product that is 100% guaranteed to make us the next kpop sensation. We’ll thank SSP when we receive our grammy (or whatever award applies in this case). 

ssp twice world tour august 2021

Anyways, it’s crazy to think that today was the second-to-last full day of SSP?!!!??! It’s been so much fun, and I am so excited for what we have planned for the next day and a half!!