Friday, August 13, 2010

Goodbye Duquesne University, Hello Senior year.

August 13th already? Wow. Where did the last 8 weeks go? Well, i'll tell you where. Let's start off at the beginning. I worked and became closer with three people from my school, became closer with a great person from Carrick, met one pretty awesome girl from North Catholic High School, met one great guy from Sewickley Academy and met another cool guy from Upper St. Clair, who wasn't even in SEED with us, but we adopted into our group.

When SEED first started this year, I have to admit that I wasn't too sure of how it was going to be compared to last year. I didn't think that all 7 of us were going to click like we did. Some of us were shy. We didn't know what to expect. Amanda, Tristan and I certainly didn't know what to expect. Within a few days, Mary introduced us to the new addition of her group, Chris. Even though Chris wasn't one of us, we took him in with open arms. Weeks went by and I began to notice how close we were becoming. From making all kinds of jokes at lunch and playing frisbee on the field afterwards to the hilarious car rides on fieldtrips, we had a blast. From working with these different people, I have learned so much. I've learned a lot not only about them, but myself as well.

These past eight weeks have gone to a great load of hard work. In my two years of working in Dr. Cavanaugh's lab, I have worked harder than I ever have. When I arrived back on the first day, I was so excited to be back in the lab. Being in a lab with college students and professors really opened my eyes. Whether I was treating cells with different compounds, doing a protein assay or running a western blot, it all required so much patience and focus.

Project SEED has opened so many doors for me. I'm extremely grateful for being given this opportunity for two years in a row. Not only has SEED given me the experience of working in a lab and getting an early college experience, but it has provided me with a great deal of responsibility. I’ve learned to manage time and have patience with what I’m doing. SEED has helped me grow as a student and person in general. It has showed me to to prepare for just about anything that comes my way. Since I’ve been here two years, my experience has just been continued. I feel like being in SEED these past two years has really prepared me for college. It has also influenced my career choice extremely. To be honest, I really thought I knew what I was going to do after high school. I thought I had my mind set and everything. Boy, was I wrong. After this year, I changed my entire mind on what I want to do after high school. Since I’m now a senior in high school, that means a lot to me. You’d be surprised about how much one thing can just open your eyes. SEED has shaped and changed me into a better person as well. By making new friends, meeting important people and being counted on by important people, it changes you. Making new friends allowed me to bond and become friends with other kids who may or may not have the same interests as me. Meeting important people gives you this sense of pressure, meanig that you don’t want to say the wrong things to them. Presenting my work is a prime example of this pressure. It’s very nervewracking presesnting to people that you are not familiar with and that do not know the subject you are talking about. It adds more pressure if the person you’re working for is there because you don’t want to say the wrong things.

Aside from the nerve-wracking and time consuming stuff, we did have a lot of fun times. Out of all of the field trips we took, I’d have to say that the college visit to Washington & Jefferson really opened my eyes the most (not saying that none of the others opened my eyes too because they did). Being in another college atmosphere really brought this different feeling to me. This field trip really influenced both my college and career choices.

All in all, Project SEED was one of the best things I’ve ever decided to participate in. When I first started, I had no idea what to expect. I came in knowing that it was going to be a good bit of work, but I had no idea that it was going to grow on me so much. I was fascinated with what I was doing and I was very interested to see what my co-workers were also doing. In my second year, I sort of got off to a rough start.

To Dr. Cavanaugh, Darlene, Erika, Mayur and Katherine, thank you for everything over the past two summers. The time that you have all put in to make my experience that much better really means alot to me. I hope to keep in touch with you all.

To Dr. Aitkin and Mr. Lucas, thank you for all of the support you have given me the past two summers. There isn't a day where I won't appreciate everything that you have done for us. Without you, the program wouldn't run as smoothly. I thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime.

To Ian, Mary, Tristan, Amanda and Chris, i'm really going to miss you guys. We've made some great memories that I will never forget. Believe it or not, you guys have really changed me. I'm really going to miss my early morning workouts with Ian, our early morning talks in the batcave, taking pictures on the imacs, having little birthday parties, chilling in the batcave, our hilarious lunch times, the elevator rides, the field trips, learning how to play frisbee, watching the boys play soccer..I could go on and on. I'm honestly going to miss it all. I really hope that we all can stay in touch through the school year.

To Liz and Marissa, i'll miss you two as well. You two better hold it down for the SEED II students. I know you guys will be great role models for everyone else. Just have patience and keep your focus and you both will do great. Don't worry, we'll all be back to visit. =)

To the newcomers of SEED, appreciate what you’re about to participate in and don’t take it for granted. There are a lot of students that are dying to be in your position. With hard work, patience and responsibility, you'll succeed greatly.

As I sit here and write this final blog post, it's really hitting me that this is my last year at SEED. No more paper revisions, poster making, cell treating. Nope, it's all done. It was a lot of hard work and determination to get through it. To tell you the truth, i've never felt so accomplished. By doing this, I know I did something that I can be proud of myself for. Luckily for Amanda, Tristan and myself, our SEED experience isn't quite over yet. We get to travel to Boston for the ACS meeting and I couldn't be more excited. I think of how all of my friends tell me that i'm crazy for giving up my summer to do this. But, they won't ever understand why I chose to give up my summer for this. It's so much more than hard work. It's an adventure.
Even though i'm saying goodbye to Project SEED, i'm saying hello to my senior year of high school. I know the program will always be there and i'll always be back to visit. So, goodbye Duquesne, hello senior year.

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