29 January, 2007

Course review, part I

So I'm taking four upper-division bio classes: immunology, physiology, developmental biology, and principles of evolution.

Principles of evolution is taught by Sam Sweet, who comes highly recommended by cool people and who lives up to the recommendations. He's got long white hair and a long white beard (think slightly-strange-old-man-who-lives-in-a-cabin-in-the-woods-and-traps-small-animals-for-their-pelts rather than Santa Claus, here) and an eccentric personality and dry sense of humor to match. Phrases like "last year's dead Eskimo dog" come up with some regularity in class.

Kathy Foltz, my advisor, teaches developmental bio, and she's wonderful and the class is wonderful and I just sit there and bask in the wonderfulness of it all. The TA's wonderful, too. Unfortunately, the class meets at 8am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which means that I've missed two out of the six classes.

Physiology is a subject that interests me enough that not even a teacher (William Smith, if anyone reading this finds that to be useful information) who does not find it interesting can ruin it for me. (This tidbit comes to you courtesy of Shine Ling, another wonderful person who will be addressed in a later post.) Mostly when you ask him questions he says, "Hm. I don't know. I bet someone else does, though." I find this infuriating, so today in class when someone asked him why doctors test your reflexes and he responded as usual, I just answered the question for him. He did not really believe me, but I am right. I am also far too stuck up and intolerant for someone of my tender years, but we all have our little foibles.

Immunology is just boring. It's a subject that's complicated enough and poorly-enough understood that it really HAS to be taught by someone with an insanely good grasp of structure, and the professor just doesn't. Mostly what he says ends up making not much sense. But the book's still interesting.

All in all, I'm having great fun this quarter. I don't have the time to do half the things I want to do, like sleep, which means that I am NEVER BORED. Which has always been my primary goal in life.

28 January, 2007

Unbelievably cool

Your skin contains proteins that specifically kill some of the most commonly encountered (pathogenic) bacteria.

In other news, I'm taking four upper division bio classes, a course on the history of CCS, and a ballroom dance class, living with my boyfriend and my best friend (long, long story), and am generally incredibly busy and exceedingly happy. There are numerous funny stories involved with each item in that list, and I shall write about them just as soon as I'm done studying for the three midterms I have next week.

09 January, 2007

I'm not superstitious, honest

Really, I'm not. I don't hesitate to walk under ladders, I don't avoid black cats, and I have opened any number of umbrellas inside the store to see how they work. And I know, I don't breathe when I go under an underpass, but that's not so much a superstition as a sort of weird habit.

But I really, truly believe that we haven't found an apartment in SB yet because we keep telling people about them before we have actually signed anything.

Finding an apartment in Grenoble was (comparatively) easy. I scoured the housing ads and websites until I found Elsa's ad, went and visited, fell in love with the place, TOLD ABSOLUTELY NO ONE ANYTHING ABOUT IT, gave her my deposit, and moved in. But here? In the months before we got here we saw any number of perfectly acceptable places that we didn't or couldn't rent. Then a few weeks before I got back Susanna found a nice place on Pasado and talked to the people renting it, who told her that she didn't have to sign anything but that we could have the place and come sign the paperwork when I got back, that they'd call her first if anyone showed any interest. So we got all excited and told all sorts of people, and I the day after I get here we go in to sign the papers and are told that someone had rented it the day before. Since then this same thing has happened at least three times.

Today I gave her permission to forge my signature on a lease for any place she thinks is appropriate. That way she won't even have to tell me about any place she finds.

(In other news, I'm back in Santa Barbara, and I absolutely love it.)