A Typical Wednesday Day in the Life: Kalina Siehl

8:30 to 10:00 am: I wake up and always try to eat some breakfast and drink some coffee before getting ready for class. Afterward, I drive straight to the Ferrell Center to head to the BSB. Most times I miss the bus, so I have to walk to my first class of the day, Biochemistry 2, taught by Dr. Jonklaas. His teaching style is definitely unique, as he uses a flipped classroom technique, meaning I have to watch the video lectures the night before. During class he runs over the notes and points out any important material and we ask him any questions that we have. At the end we take a short 2 point quiz. Although this may sound stressful, I am grateful that he requires us to take a daily quiz as it helps me to stay on top of the material as there is a lot of information in this class.

10:00 to 11:00 am: After biochemistry, I head over to my research lab and meet with my graduate student to discuss the upcoming week and our research plans. I am in Dr. Gallagher’s lab which does a wide range of bioanalytical research; however, my graduate student and I use native mass spectrometry to look at protein stability changes at different pH values. We are attending a conference in the summer, so recently we have been running experiments multiple times a week in order to collect enough data to make and present a poster. (Check us out if you’re interested! https://www.gallagherlab.com/)

Mass Spectrometry!

11:00 to 12:00 pm: After the meeting, I head over to East Village for lunch. Having a dining plan as an upperclassman is the best decision I ever made. It’s efficient and I don’t have to wake up earlier to pack a lunch. During lunch I’ll usually just scroll on my phone to give my brain a little break. 

12:20 to 1:10 pm: I return to the BSB for my Biochemistry 2 lab lecture. In this class we only meet once a week to discuss the past weeks lab in order to help us understand the experiment better. In this lab, over the semester, we have been trying to insert a gene of interest into a plasmid. We then do multiple purification techniques to ensure that the proper gene was inserted. It is very interesting to see things you learned in Biology 1 being applied.

1:30 to 2:30 pm: Afterward, I then go and attend my Art History class. Although it is not my favorite class, it is nice to think about something other than science for 50 minutes. We also do occasional fun group activities, which is nice.

2:30 pm to 5:00 pm: At this time, I head to the lab where I am a teaching assistant for Chemistry 2 lab. As a TA I help guide students through the labs and grade their assignments. I really love being a TA, especially for Chemistry 2, as that was the lab that jumpstarted my interest in chemistry. I also get the opportunity to help mentor and guide freshmen through their other, more challenging classes. I enjoy mentoring freshmen because when I was in their shoes, it was something I had heavily relied on.

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm: I’ll head home and get something to eat or take a nap for a few minutes. I try to take some time before I have to head back to the BSB because labs can be very long and draining. I really value this time of the day.

Heading out of the BSB

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm: Now that it finally gets dark a little later, I try and find this time to walk or run on the river trail in Cameron Park. This is my favorite part of the day as I get to take out my emotions by exercising. If I’m not in the mood to run I’ll walk leisurely and think about the good and bad parts of my day, and if there was anything I could have done better. If I’m feeling social, I’ll go with a friend, but sometimes this is my only time to think and properly unwind.

Definitely go to Cameron Park if you haven’t yet!

7:00 pm to 11:30 pm: This is my bulk study block. I’ll try and do anything and everything in this time. Lately, I have been studying a lot of flashcards and doing practice questions for my upcoming MCAT exam. I’ll also try and answer emails or complete things for the organization that I am a part of, AMWA (American Medical Women’s Association). Although, I am taking an easier semester because of my MCAT, I still find the time to study or do homework for my other classes.  

Grinding outside the BSB

12:00 am: It’s finally time for bed. Before I knock-out, I always try and plan my to-do list for the following day. If I had a less successful day than I had hoped, I usually try and block out specific times in the next day in order to do my tasks and hold myself more accountable.

I hope having an idea of my schedule will give you an idea of how to organize your schedule in the future! 🙂

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