This past week and a half I’ve eaten a lot of food (including what I might end up consuming tonight).

Last week my friends and I did an early Thanksgiving dinner before everyone headed out.  It was a potluck so everyone brought different things for dinner, and a few unconventional things.


Our dinner included the works: mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, macaroni and cheese (with tons of cheese), macaroni salad, bread rolls, sweet bread, cookies, and donuts.  There may have been more, but I can’t even remember because there was so much.  IMG_4064

We had some good laughs, a good time, and it was nice to have everyone together to share in these memories especially when we all don’t get to see each other as a group all the time.



And then this past Monday, the Warrior’s Chemistry Club along with a few other science clubs and groups had a potluck of their own.

Potluck flyer

For this one I ended up making brownies with crushed M&M’s on top.  I had this big plan to make something delicious and a little more holiday related like pumpkin bread, but when I realized I was missing spices and other such things that idea went out the window quickly.



The potluck had a lot of food (and quite a few more desserts), so I left there pretty full, but feeling a little guilty I didn’t eat healthier.  There was so much food though, and it went quickly, so it seemed like a success.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

Giving Tree

This is the second year the school is doing Project Giving Tree.

It is where students, staff and faculty can make a wish come true for a local youth in need.

There is a big tree in the University Student Union Lobby where you can pick a tag and fulfill a wish, give someone a present they may not have gotten otherwise.  Help out, and make the holidays a special for someone, you know you want to or do it with a friend and go in on something together.   Nothing is better then the gift of giving.


Service Learning

For my Biochemistry class we have a chance to do some serviced based learning which could be tutoring general chemistry or organic chemistry in the tutoring center or doing science experiments for grade school students at Crowell elementary.  

As I already have two jobs on campus, and my class schedule is pretty full, so it was easier for me to do the experiments with grade school students.  My classmates actually designed their own experiments, and during the month of November a couple days a week we have gone over to do these experiments.

Last Monday was the first week, and the experiment I helped with was thermometers.  The kids got bottles with isopropyl alcohol already inside, got to mix it with water, food coloring, had a straw and play dough to make it.  They got to see the temperature rise (or the liquid go up the straw) when they placed the bottle in a hot bath, and see the temperature go down when they put it in an ice bath.thermometer

This past week we did dancing raisins.  With cups of soda, a few raisins were dropped in, and the reaction with the carbon dioxide in the soda makes the raisins move up and down.  We also did the experiment with pasta in water with baking soda and vinegar to see if it would react the same.

These experiments are a lot of fun, and I’m glad I get to participate and help younger students understand and enjoy science.

Exploding Kittens

So over the summer, or maybe even before spring semester ended I backed/supported a Kickstarter for an Exploding Kittens card game.  It was created by Elan Lee, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal and Shane Small.  I follow the oatmeal and check the website for hilarious drawings and such, and happened upon exploding kittens, which I had initially thought was just a new comic, but obviously it was a game.  A game that with support or money would get you a reward, and in this case it was this awesome new game they were trying to make.      61qKP5-d-rL._SL1026_I waited and waited, and by July 31st the game was delivered to my house ready to be opened and played.

The funny thing was that the instruction/rules, literally said don’t read these rules, instead go online and watch this video.  Had I known that at the time, then maybe I would have watched it and was better to explain the game to my family.  Instead I opened the game for the first time, saw the cards all while they were watching and waiting for an explanation.  They had cards in their hands and didn’t know what to do, or what the cards meant.

It might be a little backwards from most games, where you discard or don’t discard, and pull to end your turn.  Even trying to explain it is confusing, that’s why I’m going to say watch the video.  The point of the game was to be the last one alive (and not exploding).  It took a while to get used to the game, but it does end up being a pretty quick game once you get the hang of it.exploding kittens


So hey, if you like kittens, and explosions and laser beams, and sometimes goats check the game out.  And if you are really that interested, you can purchase it on amazon.

Lets get in the Spirit

I’m pretty sure Halloween is my favorite holiday, with the fall colors of oranges and reds, it is just so beautiful.  I thought why not share some Halloween festivities around the Turlock/Modesto area.


On Halloween, housing is doing a Halloween Gala so bring your younger siblings to go trick or treating through out housing, and do different activities in the housing office.  From the current state the housing office is in, it looks Frozen/Star Wars themed, you will just have to check it out to be sure, it is from 6-9pm Saturday night.

There is RAM Farm located at 716 N. Daubenberger Road which is the only Corn Maze in Turlock!   It is open until Halloween, the maze is open noon until dusk Tuesday-Sunday, there is also a pumpkin patch open weekends with a little maze for preschoolers and pumpkin bowling.

Dell’Osso Family Farms in Lathrop has all sorts of activities.  I went there last year; there is a huge corn maze that even I couldn’t get out of, a haunted house, different train rides, a zip line a petting zoo, food, and a pumpkin patch.  Admission is free, parking is free, it is just the attractions that cost money, and food, but you are allowed to bring outside food, so that’s a nice plus.

On Halloween, you can drive to downtown Turlock and they are having events from 12-5pm, central park will have stuff going on, free popcorn and candy, and different businesses on Main Street will be participating in giving out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Enjoy your Halloween guys!!

Science Saturday

Not to be confused with Science Day, which usually falls on a Saturday as well, but happens in February.

Science Saturday is a day where 6-8th graders came to learn about how science is in our world.

This year’s theme was chemistry colors our world, there was a little explanation by a few chemistry professors with some interesting color displays, and then everyone headed up stairs, put on their lab coats and goggles.  Each CSU Stanislaus student volunteer had 2 younger kids to watch and help do the experiment.   IMG_4001

This years experiment was extracting carminic acid from cochineal bugs, mixing them with other chemicals such as borax or Iron 3 Chloride and creating different water colors to paint with. They had to crush up these dead bugs to a fine powder, and heat and stir on a hot plate for 25 minutes. Once the time had passed they filtered the carminic acid through a funnel and spread the solution through out the plate wells with the different compounds.

When the experiment was done, each participant went home with a pinwheel of colors, and a couple painting/drawings on a canvas using the colors they created.  IMG_4006

It was pretty fun, and I’m glad I got to participate in this activity.  Remember guys get involved, and help out the community.

This is National Chemistry Week, so go check out other things going on, there has been a table on the 3rd floor of Naraghi all week where they were selling things, giving out free stuff and sharing information about the ACS Club.  And tomorrow is mole day (6.022×10^23) so don’t forget to celebrate with guacamole, or molasses cookies.

Lab Reports

This semester sucks! Can I just say that right now?

If you have ever taken a lab class for chemistry, biology, physics or any other science class you may know what I mean.  The lab is the fun part, seeing how chemicals mix together, how a reaction works or really seeing what you learned in lecture actually happen in front of you, chemically or physically.  The write up on the other hand isn’t as fun.

I mean in general chemistry it was easy, answer the questions, do the simple calculations, and write a simple conclusion stating how much magnesium was oxidized or something.  I’m sure they tried to ease us into it, making us do prelabs in quantitative analysis, and have us write out more thoughtful answers but right now it seems like an all or nothing kind of deal.  Our reports have gotten a lot more complicated, upper division labs take a whole lot more time, I can tell you that much.

I guess you could say we are growing, expanding from what we did as freshman and now look at rubrics to figure out what to put into the report and how to format everything.  Everything needs to be in excruciating detail, step by step procedure, because I’ll admit it, the procedure I write down for a pre-lab isn’t always exactly what ends up happening once I get to lab because sometimes things just don’t work.  So, write up a fancy detailed procedure so that someone reading it could actually understand what you are saying, and do the lab they way you did, with possibly the same results.  Maybe also explaining the machines you are using, yes no more just putting in the machine and saying this is what it gave me, now how does the machine work, what can go wrong, and you have to be thankful that when something does go wrong there are other machines in the department that may be slightly different, but still work.

So to all you freshman out there starting with general chemistry, good luck and brace yourselves.  It’s coming and it is not something you can really avoid.  There is a way to spread it out a little, but it would mean waiting until next fall to finish and that isn’t something I’m interested in doing.  It wouldn’t be too bad if I was just taking one lab, but this semester it is two and both of them require a lot of writing and work for the reports.  I’m taking physical chemistry 1 lab, which has 8 experiments, 6 which have formal reports, and the other 2 which are communication reports which might be more like what you see on the ACS publications site.  I am also taking Instrumental analysis, a lab which has 10 experiments, where at least a few labs have things in common so I might be able to copy and paste some of the instrumentation information, but obviously the procedures are different.

I really shouldn’t be complaining because I’m sure in a few years when I have a job and working in a lab and they ask for reports with lots of details I can come back to the ones I wrote this year and be thankful they were hard and required so much time and effort, but right now they just seem like a pain.

Twenty Four Things

  1.  I have one dimple
  2. I love cats, does that make me a crazy cat lady?
  3. I can’t draw to save my life
  4. I enjoy camping
  5. Most of the time my earrings don’t match
  6. I want to live in the snow
  7. I love anything and everything Disney
  8. Breakfast is my favorite meal
  9. I have never been out of the country, but I would like to visit
  10. I can be clumsy sometimes
  11. I use a tape adapter in my car to listen to my ipod
  12. I tend to hide money in strange places, for a “just in case” moment
  13. My favorite TV show is Veronica Mars
  14. I enjoy comedy shows and performances
  15. I love playing card games
  16. My eyes tend to change color between blue and green mostly
  17. I am a very curious person
  18. Yesterday was my Birthday
  19. My hair is naturally curly/wavy
  20. I have won something at each of the last few housing huddles/meetings
  21. I’m addicted to buying crazy/cute socks at target
  22. My family is the most important thing to me
  23. I could eat mexican food everyday, just not Taco Bell
  24. I can’t help but make funny faces sometimes

And there you go, 24 things you might not have known about me.

Eyes on the sky

Hey guys!  Did any of you get to see the super blood moon on Sunday?

If you didn’t know, a super blood moon is quite a rare occasion.  It is a super moon, because it is when the moon is at its closest to the earth.  What makes it a blood moon was the lunar eclipse that happened along with it that makes it have a rust red-orange color, when the moon is in the earth’s shadow.

The news report said that the hours to watch were 7-8:30pm, and that the best time to see it was around 7:25.  Sadly here at the dorms I could not see it for anything, there were too many clouds.  And I can’t say that I didn’t try, because I kept looking, walked out around 7 to look, peeked out again at 7:15 and then headed out somewhat determined to find it at 7:30 with Tamara.  We walked, okay so we wandered around the dorm area looking for the moon, but we were looking hard, and it seemed like everyone else was kind of having the same problems.  I had friends who were on the other side of the school looking for it, and even heard a few people suggest walking to the science building going to the top floor hoping that it would help.

I’m not sure how much it did.  After searching for 20 minutes or so and trying to find it I had given up, and sadly couldn’t waste any more time looking for it. My friend told me the moon popped its head out at about 8:10 or so, but had disappeared within 10-15 minutes, which was a little sad.  The next blood super moon should happen in 2033, so even though its a few years away I’m hoping to see it next time and that there won’t be any clouds in the way.


And while I didn’t get to see the blood moon, I am happy to share a picture of the beautiful sunset I got Sunday night.

photo 3



My First Soccer Game

Okay guys, this is only a little shameful that I am currently in my last year at Stanislaus State, and have just now gone to my first soccer game.  The games that are on campus are FREE for students, so really there was no excuse.  Well I finally went the men’s soccer game last Friday afternoon while they were playing the San Francisco State Gators.

I am happy to say that our warriors won that game 2-0.

The women’s games usually start 10-15 minutes after the men’s.  It’s a two for one!

photo 3

photo 1

Go check out, and support our warriors guys, like I said the games are free!