My lab experience at Allegheny has been great, but it does not compare to everything I’ve been doing at Penn state. Like I said in my last post, our research involves dissecting the nododse ganglion out of the vagus nerve of rats and I saw seven more of those during the week. I must have made half a dozen different solutions necessary to treat our cells once we plate them on coverslips. Eventually I learned how to use the confocal microscope and all of its computer software to take images of our slides. This means over the course of 2 weeks I’ve learned how to culture neurons, treat them with antibodies, make slides, use a fluorescent microscope, and analyze the images it takes! Everyday I leave the lab feeling like a legit scientist.
Going back to my mentor, working with her is a great experience. She’s really thorough in her explanations of different lab protocols and techniques, while giving me room to try things on my own. She is also very patient with me as a student, and with as many questions as I ask, I’m glad she’s really patient! My transition into the lab would not have been nearly as smooth or enjoyable without her.
Not only did I learn about lab procedures this week, I learned more about the area. Not only did Hershey chocolate begin here but the entire town was built by Milton Hershey. A bunch of friends and I went to chocolate world for the free tour – twice! We didn’t go back for the singing cows, we went back for the free chocolate at the end of the ride.
Having chocolate related attractions in town is pretty awesome, but there’s a still fun to be had on campus, namely volleyball. The fitness center has a sand pit out front where we play beach volleyball. You’d be surprised how many bruises you can get on your arms after playing for nearly 3 hours! Needless to say games can get pretty intense, but all in good fun. I am most definitely enjoying my stay here in Hershey. It really is the sweetest place on Earth.