Archive for ‘Education’

November 5, 2011


In college, as many of you already know, the class title often reflects the difficulty of the class, and the number of units reflect the amount of time you will spend working on material outside of class. As always, science is the exception of these rules.

For all 3 unit classes, you are expected to spend 2 hours working outside of class for every one hour in class. Science courses on the other hand, require 3 hours. Also, the average (non-science) class is about three hours a week. Science classes often have three hours of lecture AND at least three hours of lab. Some science courses, such as CHEM109, even have a one hour discussion on top of the six hours of lecture and lab. CHEM109 at least knows it demands much of your schedule and is a rare 5 unit class. But the 109 means it is the lowest of low division. This class is inferred (based on its title)to be a freshman level class. Which is an outright lie. CHEM109 is considered to be one of the hardest classes to complete. CHEM109 is a prerequisite to BIOL105.

Now, BIOL105 does not have quite the reputation CHEM109 does. However, it is on the long list of impossible 100 level science courses. At least, I have now placed it on the list. Along with: BOT104 (General botany), CHEM109, and various others that I don’t care to think about.

The life sciences are my personal hell, just due to the way my brain operates. However, the reason BIOL105 has reached the list is because of the dreaded fly lab. Every science major on campus knows of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) lab. The lab consists of 100% outside of class group work, where you must determine the sex, the eye color, and breed various mixtures. This is a 13 week process during which you must ID over 20 tiny, ugly fruit flies. At the end of this massively frustrating project, our entire class compared data. Not a single group (of the five) got remotely close to the predicted results. Basically, not a single person got the results right. And now we have to write a lab report about it.

I effing hate Drosophila melanogaster. Even more than Fenniculum vulgare.

Emily Treat

June 14, 2011


For the most part, word has gotten out that I have changed my major – but for those of you who are just now discovering this, I changed from Environmental Science to Environmental Resource Engineering. Not a big change, but even with a small change, there must be a reason. I have realized that I have been receiving small hints, winks, and nudges from something (or someone) for years.

The most unrecognizable for me was my skills in the world of science and math. Yes, I don’t talk about these things very much, this was made apparent to me when my best friend thought I sucked at math. She was oh so very wrong. I am quite skilled at math – aside form some minor mistakes I make in arithmetic – I pick up new formulas and equations rapidly and if I keep practice, my memory will stick.

In the world of sciences, I was dramatically misled by my brain and missed a few very valuable hints of my future. I consider environmental science as a life science. I have to study a ton of biology and botany and climatology and whatnot. However, looking back at high school and my freshman year of college – life sciences are not my forte. As a matter of fact, some of my most embarrassing grades are under that category. Physical sciences, on the other hand, are a close friend of mine. I have always held my best grades in those classes.

Now there are the hints I received in the other side of my life – the artistic side. Just as my name suggest I am equally scientific as artistic, if not more so artistic. I discovered my ability to copy other persons art (not tracing) when I was in sixth grade. I used that talent to improve my original art and eventually became a partially skilled artist (except I am limited to pens and pencils). I also have always enjoyed building small crafts – making jewelry, origami, sewing, I even recently knit my own purse!!

The final hint I received was a much less subtle one. In my environmental science class my senior year of high school we spent about a week or two talking about Sustainable Design (building green homes). I loved the topic and excelled in the category. I still remember every aspect of the design we discussed in class during that brief time. I thought nothing of it as a career. It wasn’t until I was sitting in the last lecture of Natural Resources just about a week ago, when my teacher mentioned a green building being build on some campus in Washington when I was struck. All these tiny details I overlooked came rushing back to me and now I know. I must become and architect. I must build green homes and businesses. This is what I was meant to do, and this is what I will do.

So I changed my major.

 Emily Treat

January 26, 2011

The Mad Russian

Yeah, I talk about intellectual things every once in a while, feel free to skip this post.

Everyone knows I took AP English last year, because I talk about it all the fricken time. So, hey, if I’m gonna talk about it in person, I’ll talk about it on here too.

I just set up a Tumblr, to follow some friends and other interesting people. But in order to have an account you must set up a page, so I thought, why not at least try to make it look good. I posted some random stuff as well as a link to here. While posting, I thought it would be cool to post a cool quote. I was googleing (how is that not a word, yet?) quotes about random things when Dostoevsky popped in my head.

For those of you not familiar with the Mad Russian, he is the author of The Brothers Karamozov and Crime and Punishment. Also known as, impossibly difficult books to read, but once you accomplish this task, you will be a changed super-human with a better understanding of the human condition, religion, and the entire fricken world. Amazing, isn’t it? Sadly, I am not one of the privileged few who have done this, but I am making progress. I have read about 100 pages of The Brothers K. One day I will finish it and be an amazing person.

Back to what I was originally talking about. I began a search for some quotes by Dostoevsky. A few pages into the search I came across something very interesting.

We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.

                                                                     — Fyodor Dostoevsky

Is it just me or did you get a “love at first sight” vibe? It seems a little mushy for the Mad Russian if you ask me. Ok, let me clarify. In his books, I have come to understand that his ultimate goal is to create a society that just loves unconditionally. Unconditional love is the key to solving the human condition, but this quote… I don’t know. From what I have learned, Dostoevsky’s version of unconditional love is MUCH different from romantic love. His love is much like the love for your child, not your spouse. I actually had a growing feeling that he was almost asexual. Yes, he was married (multiple times) but I just can’t see him being in love with a woman in that sense.

But then again, I have been wrong many times before. VERY wrong.

Either way, I really like this quote. I hope you like it as well.

Emily Treat