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October 29, 2006

Seattle Update

I'm in Seattle right now. I came home at the end of last week to do all sorts of fun things like visit my boyfriend Adam, go to the homecoming football game and play in the alumni band, go bridesmaids dress shopping for my friends wedding, and go to her bridal shower while I'm here. It's been an awesome weekend! I'll have quite a bit of studying to do when I get back to school, but that's okay, it's worth it.

Well, that's a short update, but I'll post more with pictures of my trip and stuff when I get back home :-)

October 21, 2006

Fall activities

Good News! I might have a research assistant position lined up for next semester, pending a grant getting funded and finding a little bit more funding for me. I'll post more as I hear more. It's a little bit serendipitous because the faculty I might end up working with is someone who works with the research group I worked with in Seattle. The grant is focused on researching colorectal cancer screening in Native Americans in Minnesota.

The other really exciting thing that happened this week was that I got my plane tickets to go home for Thanksgiving! My boyfriend Adam ended up buying them for me since it was his turn to buy tickets (we trade every other month buying plane tickets for visiting each other). I'll be visiting home alot in the next two months for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Adam and I are going to Disneyland in April with a plane ticket that we won in a drawing, that will be super fun.

Last weekend Jooyeon and I went to an apple picking farm west of Minneapolis, it was really fun! There were all sorts of animals at the farm and lots of yummy food to try. Here are some pictures from that adventure....

This one is of Jooyeon and I on the tractor/trailer ride out through the corn fields. We got to go walking out into the fields and pick corn (the kind that you can dry out and pop in the mircowave!).
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This particular farm was pretty cool because they had animals all over the place. I was particularly entertained by the turkeys just wanering around like they owned the place!
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We bought pumpkins and apples from the place, here is what the table decoration I made looked like....
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We actually ended up cooking the pumpkins and making a pumpkin cheesecake. We also baked some apples and made apple crisp. So yummy! I really like to cook my own pumpkin because it's so much more personal to see the pumpkin that your dessert came from!

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Today the SPH Student Senate went and raked leaves! Only about 7 people showed up, but it was a pretty fun day. After we were done raking leaves we went out to a really yummy cafe that serves organic food. It feels good to go out and help people get their yards ready for winter who would otherwise have trouble doing it themselves. The only funn part was that there are still a fair number of leaves left on the trees, so these yards will probably get more leaves on them before winter really sets in, but that's alright, at least we made a dent in the pile.

This weekend I need to get a fair amount of work done because I'm headed off to Seattle on Wednesday! I'm pretty excited to go home and see Adam and some other friends. We're going to go to the homecoming football game for UW (University of Washington) and play in the alumni band. The other important reason I'm going to Seattle is to be at a friends bridal shower and get fitted for my bridesmaids dress for her wedding.

October 12, 2006

Exam Frenzy!

I'm really looking forward to the weekend. I've got plans to go apple picking on Saturday with Jooyeon and a group of people from her church. Friday I plan to spend a hefty amount of time relaxing and playing video games. At some point I need to do my biostats homework.

This journal's purpose is to provide some insight for prospective U of M School of Public Students on what it's like to be a student here. I've been thinking about different ways to go about sharing my experiences. If anyone reads this and has something they are curious about, please drop me a comment and I'll try to share my ideas on whatever your question is! Without input, I'll just talk about what I think is interesting!

Wow, what a tiring week! Along with many other SPH students, I have had 3 exams in the past week. Last Thursday was the first biostatistics exam, it went fairly well and I was pretty pleased with how I did, except for the tomato problem! Tuesday of this week we had our first Epidemiology exam, I thought I was fairly well prepared for it after 4 or 5 days of studying, but I was totally wrong! That test kicked my butt... but luckily, I think it kicked alot of other peoples butts too :-) The professor said not to worry because the exam was going to be graded on a good curve. So then between the test Tuesday evening and Thursday morning (today) I studied like crazy for my pathophysiology exam. It was a very fair exam in my opinion, I would have done better if I had started studying earlier, but at that point I was still studying for my epi test. I'm just glad I made it through this barrage of tests and can now start getting ready for the next batch :-) Not to mention catch up on my laundry and dishes.

Well, it seems to me like fall is starting to turn into winter. We had snow flurries yesterday and when I looked out the window about an hour ago it was snowing again. I need to dig out my warmer clothes, I got pretty cold walking to school today. I also need to buy boots eventually! I haven't had to buy boots since I lived in Eastern Washington, and had similar winters to what Minneapolis has.

October 5, 2006

My Trip to Alaska

This past summer I got to go on a summer vacation. It was the first time since high school that I wasn't either working or taking classes. With my Dad's encouragement, I decided to leave my old job two months before I needed to be here in Minneapolis to start school.

A little bit of background about me... I just graduated from my undergraduate program at the University of Washington in December 2005, I'm from Seattle, Washington, and I was born in Alaska. Every summer my dad's family spends the summer up in Kenai, Alaska fishing for Sockeye salmon (Reds). For years, my dad has been trying to get me to take the summer off from work or school to come fishing with the family and this summer I was finally able to! I had a really great time, and here are some of the highlights.

Someone you probably haven't heard of, unless you are familiar with Alaska, is Hobo Jim. I hadn't heard of him before until my Uncle Bob took me to see him at BJ's ( a bar in Kenai). Below is a picture of me getting ready to beat on his chest at the concert. I was pretty freaked out about beating on an older guys chest, but everyone reassured me that it was part of his show to have ladies come up from the audience and beat on his chest while he singe the yodeling song. I really liked his music, it's the folk-rock stuff that I just can't get enough of. My Uncle Bob bought me one of his CD's and I got it autographed.

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Here's a picture of the first fish I caught! It wasn't the biggest fish we caught, but there is something about having a picture of the first fish of the summer. The salmon run came into the river about 2 weeks late this summer, so the majority of the 2 weeks I was there, there were very few fish in the river. During the last two days I was there, the fish suddenly arrived! You could stand on the bank and catch one fish after another, very exciting. I brought about 10lbs of freshly frozen salmon fillets beack to my boyfriends mom. After I left though, my family was still up there, and they were catching 6 fish per person- per day. They came home with two chest freezers FULL of fish! So cool.

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And here is what the beautiful fillet's look like!

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So the fishing's all good, but my favorite part of Alaska is the wildlife when it's alive, rather than headed for dinner. This Moose is a two year old bull. He wandered through the camp a few times. This time I got to get some pretty good pictures of him. I could have gotten closer, but moose are pretty dangerous, so I kept my distance. I didn't see bears this summer. Two summers ago I was up in Alaska for a biology class, we spent 6 weeks in rural southwest Alaska studying salmon biology, and we saw TONS of bears.
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I'm really really glad that I took some time off this summer between work and school starting up again. It was a much needed break from the daily grind and the timing worked out really well. So if anyone is reading this and thinking about coming to grad school, I highly recommend taking a vacation if you can!