Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Week In

First- before any anecdotes or sarcasm- I have news! My blog is famous(ish)! I had entered my blog into the University's blog competition for Welcome Week. A blog from a UK citizen and a non UK citizen would be selected as the winner and given a 50 pound prize! I figured since I was blogging anyway, to just enter the drawing. I haven't heard who won yet, but the International and Study Abroad Office emailed me, asking if they could link my blog to their website and facebook group page. They told me they loved the blog and thought it would be helpful for future international students. I was so surprised! But now, this blog is famous(ish) in the ISAO media :)

I am officially a week in to my program and keeping afloat haha.
Its actually been a pretty easy week, if I'm being totally honest. I've mostly been meeting the other professors, being shown around the building, and talking to George about my past research and future projects. Right now, I don't have my hypothesis, but we have directed my thinking a bit. I'll be looking at amyloid peptides role in the degradation of long term memory (in the pond snail Lymnea). I'll be meeting with my co-sponsor this coming week, whose specialty is in the chemical aspect of these amyloid peptides I'll be working with.
I've also been researching (reading papers, not physical research). I'm five textbooks deep and a decent way through one of them and have lots of papers to read. But it is all sooooo interesting.
Really the only downside has been an issue with getting lab keys. I couldn't get them because you have to put down a 10 pound deposit for each (so I needed 20 pounds in cash), but only had 3. However, I finally just buckled down and withdrew cash last night and happily found this morning that the charge was only $1.85! So on Monday I'll be getting my keys and get to read my research in my new PhD room! I have my own desk and everything, its pretty cool :)
Last night I went out drinking for the first time in England. I went with three other people on my floor, one of them is Caitlin who I've talked about previously, and a German friend who I met at trivia night. We invited our other friends to come, but the IDS program on campus was having their own pub crawl, so most people were out at that. However, we were able to meet up with two of our other friends while out so that was really fun. I also tried South African honey liqueur and it was pretty epic. AND, while getting ready to go out, I got to skype with Sam, Mary, and Irvin which was awesome. And then this morning when I woke up (and they had just come back in from drinking), I got to talk to those three and Jenna again. I love that I can go out and have fun here, go to sleep, and then wake up to my friends from the US coming home after a night out.
I do miss them though. I miss everyone a lot! And for those of you who I haven't talked to yet (aka the ENTIRE family), lets get on that, yeah?
I do have a pretty funny story from this week- a baking adventure with Caitlin. She posted a blog about it (this link), which you should read. The story is just so much better with the pictures she added. BUT- what happened is we attempted to bake cookies in our crappy microwave/oven thing. Alas, the attempt was a failure. So we went to our neighbors in the flats close by (who have real ovens) and used theirs. Have we met these people before? No. Did they let us in and let us use their ovens anyway? Yes. The flat on the same floor as us were actually really nice and the cookies FINALLY turned out right. They were chocolate chip banana cookies finally, instead of a random blob of mush.
And now I must go and read/ catch up on all the tv I've been missing. It IS the weekend, after all...


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