America Runs on Coffee…

Good morning people of the AM! I honestly don’t think I have ever been awake and functioning this early this semester. Today is sort of a slow and long day; I woke up this early to begin dehydration of samples for histology, and later during the day I must go to Student Government where we will debate a VERY VERY VERY important smoking bill (did I accentuate my sarcasm in all caps?). For my research in histology I must begin a three and a half hour long process that essentially dehydrates whatever samples that I am interested in. Under the supervision of Janice Voltzow, I will place the samples in a plastic-like substance and section these samples by cutting them into slices that are on the order of a few micrometers thin. That way I can later stain them in order to visualize the cellular structure of the samples; this is a super condensed and simplified explanation of the art of histology. It is something that I still have much to learn from Janice but slowly I’m getting there; in her words, histology and research in general sometimes requires a little black magic to produce the desired data! At present I am dehydrating the samples of dissected-out snail gills [left and right] of Diodora aspera. This species of snail is better known as a keyhole limpet, and I am conducting histological research because when compared to Haliotis rufescens, better known as abalone, the abalone gills exhibit a strange “cross linkage” between the individual leaflets that make up the gills. Whereas in keyhole limpets the phenomenon was not observed. Original footage captured by Janice when she examined abalone with an endoscope showed that the gills, for lack of a better phrase, looked like waffle fries.

Later on in the day I will have the pleasure of attending a Student Government meeting and debating the smoking bill that has come to the table for deliberation. I think this debate may take a good chunk of time because when I was reading over its contents, a lot of the findings seemed rather redundant to the current smoking policy on campus. Let me backtrack a little bit because I feel as though for any readers who may have just started reading my ramblings, it might seem a little confusing. I am a senior senator on Student Government and as such, the senate votes on the passage or lack thereof of bills and resolutions of virtually any matter. This matter in particular tackles the hot topic of smoking on college campuses. At present, there are many college campuses that have banned smoking however our’s is up for debate. On the one hand, it would be a healthier course of action but at the same time, would it be just in violating the rights of those who do smoke to enjoy at their leisure? The world may never know.

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