The Most Fun and Interesting Blog You’ll Ever Read (not really), ft. Bert the Emotional Support Glove

Author | Mona M.

Editor | Rex S.

Quite frankly, when I heard that I had to write today’s blog at 10:45 last night when I was trying to mind my business and peacefully work on a puzzle with my bowling buddies, I wasn’t the happiest camper. What do I even write about? How the heck can I make this somewhat interesting? And why on Earth did I say in the sign-up form for the blog that I was a creative writer?!!! I’ve literally never done creative writing in my life!!! If this isn’t good, I’m gonna feel awful about myself, even though it’s literally not that big of a deal. DUDE, WHAT DO I DOOOOOOOOOO!!!! GAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

And so forth. 

Long story short, when I signed up for SSP, I didn’t ever anticipate feeling the pressure to write an interesting blog that’s as good as the ones written by my peers. So I’m honestly kinda scared of this blog thing, but whatever. I shall simply present the day as it was, and you can personally decide if I’m a worthy SSP blogger or not. If you think I am, I appreciate that. And if not, well, I’ll just…deal with it lol.

But anyway! Without further ado, I shall now present: “The Most Fun and Interesting Blog You’ll Ever Read (not really), ft. Bert the Emotional Support Glove”

Ahem.

12:41pm- Reporting from the IMU Eatery

This is Mona currently reporting live at IMU, on everything that happened in the morning.

I woke up at approximately 7:40am in preparation to go to the lecture room of Wiley at 8:30am. Of course, despite the fact that everyone expected IU to be blistering hot for the entire duration of SSP, it conveniently started raining the moment I stepped outside. To be fair, it was only lightly drizzling, but I just recently stopped having to deal with being sick at SSP for an entire week, so I wasn’t gonna take any chances. I whipped out my umbrella that I bought from CVS a week ago and took a peaceful walk to Wiley with my Emotional Support Glove, Bert (see Fig 1).

Fig 1. Me and Bert on a walk in the rain.

After arriving at Wiley, Bert and I settled down to listen to Dr. H’s lecture on Gibbs free energy and enzymes. I opened up my computer to find that it was at a fantastic 24% battery, so I opted to write notes in my notebook instead. Some lectures last week freaked me out because I didn’t know everything that was happening all the time, but thankfully, most of the lecture for today was a review. Basically, as a cute little overview:

  1. Enzymes catalyze reactions by lowering the activation energy, have nice rate enhancements, can catalyze in mild conditions, and have high degrees of specificity, among other things
  2. Gibbs free energy is energy associated with a chemical reaction that can do work
  3. This equation is pretty darn important: ΔG = ΔH – TΔS (ΔG<0 is exergonic and spontaneous, ΔG>0 is endergonic and not spontaneous, and ΔG=0 means no net change)
  4. This is also pretty darn important: ΔG°’ = -RTlnKeq
  5. This too: ΔG’ = ΔG°’ + RTln([C]c[D]d/[A]a[B]b)
  6. Energy diagrams are a thing
  7. Enzymes have substrate specificity, can reduce entropy, and can stabilize transition states
  8. Etc. 🙂 (I ain’t explaining anything else rn)

Then, much to my sadness, Dr. H assigned us another problem set that’s due tomorrow. I haven’t even looked at it yet, but people are saying it’s pretty easy (then again, idk whether to trust them since everyone at SSP are geniuses who think a lot of things that I find hard are easy lol). Wish me luck! I’ll procrastinate for a few more hours before I worry about it.

Fig 2. Bert with Dr. H, having the time of his life.

We then went to the chem building. My group (Group 6) was a bit behind at first because we had to finish up a lab from the other day, but it thankfully didn’t take too long. 

Group 6 then valiantly moved on to conquer Lab 6, where we embarked to determine our protein concentration and make some standard curves. We were kinda dissatisfied with our R2 value (which was like 0.984), but we decided to just go with it because it honestly wasn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. Bert also approved of the score, so it was okay.

Fig 3. Bert in the lab, being an absolute scientific genius.

At 12:00pm, we went to IMU to get lunch. I was super determined to get myself a chicken sandwich because I couldn’t get one yesterday and that sandwich is like my lifeline. The annoying thing was that the thespians were still there and completely stampeded IMU by the time that us SSPers arrived. Still, I was absolutely determined, and nothing could stop me from getting my delectable chicken sandwich. I bravely stood in the line for like 15 minutes until it was finally my turn, like the professional chicken sandwich connoisseur that I am.

Fig 4. Bert waiting in line with me at the sandwich place (ft. Mattia’s hand).

Fig 5. Bert posing like the absolute model he is with Jacob.

2:01pm- Reporting from the Chem Building

As we walked back to the chem building after lunch, Monica tried to chase a squirrel to feed it, unfortunately to no avail. Eventually, I trust that she will finally manage to feed a squirrel and become the Squirrel Queen. She shall then gain the ability to summon squirrels at her command, and she’ll also get them to do her MOE assignments because she’s truly just that glorious.

But I digress. We went back to the lab and continued where we left off. My labmates and I kinda had some problems getting the absorbance values we needed at first, but then we literally realized that we didn’t let the cuvette sit for long enough, so the value kinda fixed itself after 5 minutes (success!!).

During the lab, my labmate Hemkesh also started messing with Bert. I honestly couldn’t tell if they were playing or if Hemkesh was trying to murder him. Anyway, Bert made it out alive.

Fig 6. Hemkesh murdering(?) Bert.

Fig 7. Bert being studious with Sonia and Hanser.

Fig 8. Sofia cradling Bert because he is just that precious.

4:55pm- Reporting while walking alongside 3rd Street to Forest Eatery

Afterwards, we went to the biology building to listen to a lecture by the scientist Tyrone Hayes. I already knew a good bit about him since I did some research on him as my chore for the week (thanks to Felipe, Hanser, and Caleb for working together with me on that!), but it was a completely different experience actually listening about his work firsthand. His studies on frogs and their relation to atrazine and other concerning pesticides was genuinely really interesting, especially since Tyrone himself is a really great orator. 

Fig 9. Tyrone Hayes posing with Bert.

10:13pm- Reporting while in Goodbody, currently procrastinating my Problem Set 3 because I’m stuck on question 5b

A lot of us had to run to dress up for dinner because we stayed listening to Tyrone for too long, so I sprinted and managed to be on time with great speed. Viki tied her hair up beautifully (see Fig 10), so of course I had to take a picture of it.

Fig 10. Viki and her luxurious locks.

Fig 11. Hanser and Maria hanging out with Bert.

We then had dinner, where I ate delectable burrito. It is upon this feast that Nikhil began to violently threat the death of Bert, to which Sofia and I were justly appalled. Bert is the bestest Emotional Support Glove alive, and to ever think of harming him is such an injustice to the whole of society. All I’m saying is, if Bert suddenly goes missing, you know who’s probably to blame. Smh.

Fig 12. Sofia being super cool with Bert, both holding up the rock-and-roll hand sign because they’re just amazing like that.

Fig 13. Mr. Shorey with Bert.

After coming back from dinner, we changed back into more casual clothing and went back to the lab. My team finished up Lab 6 and then did some preparations for Lab 7 that we’ll do tomorrow.

I’m still stuck on 5b of the PSET (I shall get to that shortly hehe). But still, I’m pretty stickin’ proud of myself for actually finishing the rest of it. So, we have a somewhat success!

10:47pm- Still at Goodbody, still haven’t figured out 5b lol

I literally have to submit this blog thing right now, but as a nice little concluding note, I hope you enjoyed today’s blog! Both Bert and I appreciate that you came along on this nice adventure. I need to figure out 5b now, so I’m gonna go do that.

But anyway, it was another nice day at SSP! This is Mona, signing off.