Lessons From A Chronic Over-Scheduler

 By Izzy L.

As the first full week of SSP has come to a close, I, Izzy L. from Middle of Nowhere, Missouri, land of the mythical ‘Central Time Zone’, am here to do a little….reflection.

I’ve never been good with time management, yet I have this wonderful compulsion to constantly keep myself busy. Needless to say, I was definitely surprised by the amount of work us SSP participants were expected to do outside of class, and did not plan accordingly. Deciding to volunteer to coach youth basketball camp and playing in league games every day, in addition to SSP, certainly did not make for a relaxing week. My “favorite” day this week was definitely Tuesday, where I had to wake up at 7 am for weightlifting, coach some elementary school kids who could barely dribble a basketball from 9 am to 12:30, then speed to taco bell and take the world’s fastest shower before jumping on SSP zooms for the rest of the day with a game during my only ‘break’ at 7:15 pm. Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of missing work this week and drunk more Monster Energy Drinks than a normal person should in a month. Woops. Note to self, you cannot be everywhere at once, no matter how hard you try. 

By Saturday the 26th, we all will have completed the first week of the program, which is supposed to be the hardest week—according to a conversation I overheard between our TAs Devin and Saj that I probably was not supposed to hear, as we were supposed to be stepping away from our computer to take a break, but the grind just never stops when you’re two days behind. I’m sure someone before me has blogged about our research process, so I’d instead like to give a shout out to my teammates for helping to keep me on track. I mostly worked in the background of our research this week —editing the procedure, updating computer generated data, copy and pasting nucleotide sequences— and I really want to say thanks to Alor and Sai for making sure everything got done. I’m finally learning that it’s okay if I’m not the one doing all the work for the team; for the first time in my life, I’m learning to accept the dynamics of team work. Thanks SSP! Go Team Djungelskog!

A ‘mood board’ courtesy of the late group during our TA session.

For Saturdays during the program, we only meet for a shorter activity block —but this last Saturday, Ms. Latus blew it out of the park with our designated activity. Titled ‘Caption This!’, the name of the game was for our random groups to create a funny description for a picture each participant was required to submit. The group that created the funniest caption —according to the photo’s owner— was awarded a point, and the group with the most points at the end won. After 2 basketball games at 8 and 11am, tired Izzy was kinda-sorta-maybe dreading getting on this zoom for 90 minutes when she could have been sleeping; but let me tell you, I have never laughed so hard in my life. Initially, it was hard to come up with captions for the pictures, but the payoff was immense, and listening to everyone’s stupidly absurd descriptions (accompanied by frequent references to vine and tiktok audio clips) was nothing short of hilarious. I must say, I definitely think I got the most points for my team, and Tushar and Micah’s teams really stuck out to me as the funniest teams. Despite the TAs valiant (?) efforts, which consisted mostly of out-of-date memes, Tushar’s team (whose number I cannot remember) came out on top. Here’s some of my favorite pictures —take a second to guess what we might have captioned them!


Here’s to another week of SSP! I’m 100% looking forward to doing something OTHER than bacterial transformation…because that is not my strong suit. Bon voyage!