May 19, 2007 9:16 AM

Whirlwind over, new storm on its way

Finals are done! Whew! To celebrate the end of the semester, I went with the Specht lab to the UC Botanical Garden, where we took a new lab photo and individual photos of each lab member with their plant of interest. It was very fun!

Click on this link to see more of the new photos!

With each semester that I pass all of my courses, I feel a little more worthy of a Berkeley education. The tradition of excellence here at UC Berkeley has messed with my mind since I've arrived on campus, and has made me feel like I'm not intelligent enough to be here. With each passing grade I say, "See, you can do this." With each A grade: "Ha! You can cut it in the scientific world!" My friend Benta and I speak often on our feelings of insignificance in the face of such greatness. One difference, though, she belongs here, and I don't! Just kidding. Well, not really...

Tomorrow I leave for Paris, France. I'll be in the Paris Herbarium for a week with Dr. Specht.

(image from

We'll spend our time at the Herbarium "keying out" (identifying a plant to genus and species by observing their defining physical characteristics) dried and pressed samples of African Costus. I feel very lucky to be included on this trip. Next week, I'll either go along with the research crew to the Netherlands, or I will remain in Paris to spend time with friends that I have not seen for a year. I return to the United States on June 1.

Then I'll be starting my first summer school course on June 4th.

When the microtechnique course is through, I'll have a few weeks to focus on a dessicant-tolerant fern project with my labmate Ruth Kirkpatrick. Here's a photo of a dessicant-tolerant Pellaea:

Then later in June I'll start the craziness that is Chem3B (Organic Chemistry 2). What a summer!

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