Brian’s Blog

Author | Brian A-H.

Editor | Rex S.

Waking up at 8:40 for a 9:00 AM lecture is so fun! 🙂

I started the day off right by not eating breakfast and instead going straight to an enticing lecture on phosphoregulation on an empty stomach. We learned about the intricacies of regulatory strategies employed by cells, most importantly phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, performed by kinases and protein phosphatases respectively. After the lecture, we celebrated SSPer Emily (Emilka) Puchalski’s birthday by singing an absolutely spectacular rendition of “Happy Birthday”

[Video here] – Figure 1 – SSPeople sing happy birthday to Emily. Look how energetic Caleb is while singing!

After wishing Emily a happy birthday all the research groups drew theoretical versions of what our well plates should look like after running a successful assay and then we all headed off to the lab.

SSParticipant Daniel Hong somehow beat me to the lab even though I ran up all seven flights of stairs to the top of the Chemistry building. We were confused as to why it seemingly took forever for everyone else to get to the top and we would soon learn the reason. In the meantime Daniel enthusiastically informed me of how happy he was to be in the lab and then attacked me lovingly due to how joyous he was.

Figure 2.1 – Daniel Hong is ecstatic, excited, thrilled, exhilarated, enlivened, and enthusiastic about being in the lab.

Figure 2.2 – Daniel Hong viciously attacks me out of joy for being in the lab.

Eventually, a small, mischievous man who goes by “Jake Yun” emerged triumphantly from the elevator with an evil grin on his face and informed us that he had intercepted the elevator on the second floor and taken it all the way to the seventh, leaving all the SSPers on the first floor elevatorless.

Figure 3 – Miscreant grinning while standing in front of his beautiful artwork.

Once everyone had finally completed the arduous journey to the seventh floor of the Chemistry building we all began creating a standard curve for malachite green at different concentrations of phosphate. My group got the opportunity to do the standard curve three whole times which was so much fun! Luckily, our group didn’t have to do five trials like a certain, unmentioned group. To ease our fun of repeating the same thing two extra times, we got to look at the delightful color of the malachite green dye, which stole the position in many SSPeoples’ hearts that had previously been occupied by coomassie blue dye.

Figure 4 – Cool colors of malachite green.

After the standard curve generation, we began running assays which involved a lot of pipetting. Luckily the hardworking SSPers didn’t mind and worked very studiously on the assays.

Figure 5.1 – Studious SSPers.

Figure 5.2 – Leon Zhou working hard and not hardly working.

Figure 5.3 – Maria Grau using threatening hand motions.

Figure 5.4 – Maria Grau studiously fixes her sleep schedule.

Figure 5.5  – SSPers wishing they were outside.

Figure 5.6 – Daniel Hong showing off his glove turkey.

At 2:00 PM I went to lunch because my group and I were taking lunch shifts and I got the last one 🙃

Figure 6 – Remnants of absolutely scrumptious fried rice and orange chicken at the Lantern in IMU.

After I got back from IMU my group and I finished up our first assay and got quite good results, so we cleaned up our lab station and headed to Lindley hall for a TA Talk from everyone’s favorite TA, Rex Soderlund. SSPerson Rohan Kalia gave Rex an excellent introduction and gave an even better introduction to the guest speaker that Rex invited, Wefwafwa Alexander, who called in from Uganda.

[Video here] – Figure 7.1 – Rohan’s enthusiastic support of Rex.

Figure 7.2 – Excerpt from the introduction.

Rex and Wefwafwa worked together to give an informative and thought-provoking talk about Wefwafwa’s work in Uganda, Rex’s research on the impact of malaria, and an overarching theme of not assuming you can solve something better than someone experiencing it can. The speakers spoke on different experiences they had while performing their work and about things that could help Uganda overcome its problems, especially malaria.

After the TA Talk we went back to the dorms at Goodbody to get changed into formal clothing for dinner. We left for Forrest at 6:00 PM as we usually do and the dinner was nearly identical to as it always is except two of the best restaurants were both closed. The dinner built up to the funniest part of everyone’s day, Rohan’s post-dinner joke. It was quite possibly the single best joke ever told by a human being and it was of course dedicated to Emilka as it was her birthday. The joke went as follows: “What does Emilka say when she goes to Starbucks? Can I get a coffee with E-milk-a.” The joke was so funny that everyone in the dining hall was on the floor rolling around with laughter. Unfortunately no recordings of this spectacular moment in human history exist because phones are not allowed for dinner.

We walked back to Goodbody after dinner and had ~45 minutes before we all went to the basement to celebrate Emily’s birthday with cake. 

[Video here] – Figure 8.1 – Singing happy birthday to Emily again. 

After the birthday many SSPers stayed downstairs to play games or discuss things.

Figure 9.1 – SSPers form a phenol while discussing “rizz.’

Figure 9.2 – SSPers Selam, Sonia, Jiya, Jeremy, Xinrui, and Nicholas all simultaneously violate the honor code by gambling using uno cards.

After I got bored of watching people gamble away all their money (uno cards) I went upstairs to find SSPer Evie doing the Batman puzzle without me. Eventually SSPers Jacob and Nikhil joined us and when we got to the last two remaining pieces, Nikhil and Jacob started a childish fight over who would put in the last piece of the puzzle that I did 90% of. Eventually they came to an agreement that they would both put in their pieces at the same time. Unfortunately, Nikhil couldn’t figure how his piece fit into the last two slots left, so it took them an embarrassingly long amount of time to finish the puzzle.

Figure 10.1 – Puzzle without the pieces Jacob and Nikhil stole.

Figure 10.2 – Nikhil and Jacob collaborating to finish the puzzle.

Figure 10.3 – Completed puzzle.

Random Photos:

Hemkesh wanted to be in the blog so here he is.


My mom sent me a picture of our dog Bailey.