50 and Goals!!!

Post #50….

I must say I am proud of myself for writing 50 post about things that matter to me! And thanks for everyone who follows me and thinks that my post must matter as well! Here is how I feel about the awesomeness of all of you out there.

Today happens to be a great day to have what I consider my first blogging achievement (I hated writing before this) and is also the start of my last year at WCU (finishing up my first MASTER’S)!!!! So for this amazing day I am writing about some goals that I hope to achieve during the Fall semester! So I’ll try to do an update every month to see how I am doing with the goals.

Blogging Goals:

  1. Write 5 post per week
  2. Take better pictures for the blog (This will really be a challenge, but I accept it!)
  3. Learn some basic HTML ( I am already learning programming for my research so why not add another language)
  4. Learn some photo editing skills ( I currently can crop a photo and that is it)
  5. Get to atleast 100 subscribers

School Goals:

  1. Finish up all my graduate applications before Thanksgiving ( Better to be done early)
  2. Have half of my Thesis written by Christmas break and have 90% of my research done
  3. Finish the semester with atleast a 3.80 GPA
  4. Share my research at a conference (hopefully in October if all goes well)
  5. Inspire a student(s) that Chemistry isn’t all that bad ( I teach a lab of future nurses/EMT etc. that don’t enjoy chemistry)

Personal Goals:

  1. Go to school more ‘put together’ then just a cute t-shirt and jeans. One day I will need to actually look professional!
  2. Keep up with the healthy eating
  3. Workout/run 5 days a week ( and hopefully lose some weight)
  4. Run 2 5k’s before the end of the year
  5. Read atleast 2 books a month ( possibly more)
  6. Budget (My plan is to save as best that I can this semester, trying out the Envelope Method)

Daily Goals:

  1. Drink more water ( My go to is coffee)
  2. Morning yoga
  3. Keep up with classes and review topics daily
  4. Keep and To-Do list day/week and try my best to complete it
  5. Become a morning person and cut back on super late nights

So there it is my 50th post and also my goals for the semester all wrapped into one!  If you all are about to start school, good luck and enjoy  it!!!

My Mini- Vaca Last Week

Well I actually must say that I missed the randomness that matters to me that makes up this blog last week. I headed home Wednesday Afternoon to visit my family, bring some stuff home that was crowding my tiny apartment, and then headed to a friend’s Bridal Party on Saturday in Wingate!

I loved being home. I got to see my mom who is on her way to being done with all of her surgeries from fight with breast cancer from early 2012 (she kicked it’s A$*) !!! I got to see my dad and my grandmother. And most of all I got to see my all my amazing friends Saturday/Sunday up at Wingate.

The Bridal Party was amazing. It reminded me of life back in college expect not having to wake up for class the next morning! Here is the picture of the girls which really made that party amazing…

Me on the left, LL, Bride, DN, and BM!

Me on the left, LL, Bride, DN, and BM!

So now that I am back in Cullowhee and recovered from my mini-vaca, back to blogging. Which this week will include an impromptu book case I made built last night! So keep a look out for that, a new recipe (or two) and of course some conservation and preservation posts!

-Caitlyn

Vance Birthplace – Weaverville, NC

So the BF had to visit a historic site for his history class, which lead us a hour up the road to Weaverville, NC and the Vance Birthplace. This site’s most famous Vance relative is Zeb Vance, who as elected to his first public office at the age of 24. He served in the N.C. House of Commons and the U.S. House of Representatives and was elected governor three times.

Overall, I enjoyed the place, the buildings on the grounds were amazing. The tour guide we had, Scott(?) was probably the best part. He was a intern working there, who majors in History and Religion and grew up in the region. He mentioned before the tour that he loved to talk, but we enjoyed it because they were all funny stories!

So here are some pictures from the site! Hope you enjoy and visit there if you can!

Front porch of the main house, the BF and I.

Front porch of the main house, the BF and I.

The spring house!

The spring house!

Looking back up to the house

Looking back up to the house

The smoke house

The smoke house

The main house

The main house

Card Case!

Card Case!

Amazing sculpture/wall hanging inside the museum

Amazing sculpture/wall hanging inside the museum

The BF posing for his picture!

The BF posing for his picture!

Franklin NC July 4th ( really 6th) Fireworks

So with all the rain the week of July 4th, all the local festivities were postponed! So on Saturday ( when we thought the rain was done) , we ventured to Franklin NC to watch fireworks with some of the other Chemistry Graduate students that are around this summer.

Here are some pictures from the night, which went on even though there was a downpour till 9ish!

Fireworks

Fireworks

The BF enjoying the break in the rain

The BF enjoying the break in the rain

Finally glad the rain stopped and the fireworks started!

Finally glad the rain stopped and the fireworks started!

More fireworks

More fireworks

Why Chemistry?

I have asked myself this question many times over the last 5ish years of college ( and so have others). So here is how my college career went….

Freshman Year

Came in as a pre-pharmacy major, along with 200 other students at Wingate University, thinking that if I could make it through pharmacy there would be a nice pay check at the end. Had 2 chemistry classes, 2 calculus classes (at 8am EVERYDAY!) , intro into biology and the other courses outside of my major area. Didn’t do very well my freshman year, it was a hard adjustment for me considering high school was very easy for me, which lead me to realize that Pharmacy school wasn’t going to happen! So change of major I was undecided!!!

Sophomore Year

This year to me can be summed up with one dreadful topic, Organic Chemistry! This was a class that seemed to crush quite a lot of dreams for pharmacy school, but for me it was just on the track for what I needed for a Chemistry degree (still have a undecided major though).  Throughout this year I spent countless hours at “the boys apartment” studying till well past midnight for Organic and cramming even later at my apartment with my roomie Danielle. I must give a shout out to the boys though, there were 8 in the apartment, with 3 boys now on their P4 year ( and so is Dani!!!) and one who is a graduate student in Biology at UGA. So needless to say half of this apartment was dealing with the same stress as I was (I didn’t have the pharmacy school applications and GPA requirements though). Studying with the boys, mainly two (Chris and Papa Bear Jeremy) really got me through this year. The boys were even my lab partners in Physics 1&2 and Organic. It was a sad day though when all of them were into the Pharmacy program at Wingate because I knew they wouldn’t be in my classes for the next 2 years.  Well at the end of this year my advisor ( who must have hated dreaded dealing with me changing my major ) put that I was officially a chemistry major.

Junior Year

This year is when things started to turn around, minus the next two sentences. I came into this year switching my major again, this time to a chemistry business degree. I took 2 business classes that fall ( Accounting and Management)  and quickly went back to just Chemistry! This year is probably when I got hooked on the idea of really trying to do something with chemistry, all because of research and the classes! This year I took 2 Analytical courses ( learning about different instrumentation ), a Hazardous Materials ( we set things on fire, set off explosions,etc.) and Inorganic Chemistry.  All of these being upper-level chemistry courses meant that there was a lot more “real” chemistry involved. “Real” chemistry to me is doing things that involve more than reading a lab manual like a recipe book. I also worked on a basic research project that involved using GC and some GC-MS to try and identify components of two similar aromatherapy oils ( easy and basic, but was a way to start researching). I then went on to getting a summer internship at Goulston Technologies R&D Department (Monroe, NC) working on research involving textiles. This internship gave me the experience to see how it is working in a  R&D department and using chemistry in a real-world scenario.

pchem

Senior Year

This was my favorite year , if I can disregard  the having to think of the what to do after graduation.  I went out more, had a lot more fun and still did better in classes. I attempted to improve my Organic Chemistry grades by retaking both classes ( not much improvement in the end) and had the capstone course of any undergraduate chemistry degree, Physical Chemisty. A favorite bumper sticker that was at the ACS regional that year in Richmond, VA explains exactly how I felt after passing it!  In the end I did more research ( 4 posters and a possible publications worth), finally found a direction/major, and had to start thinking about graduate programs.

In the end I would say that I eliminated other options of majors and that left me with Chemistry, unless I wanted to spend another 3 years to restart completely. I wouldn’t have thought that at the end of my 4 years at Wingate, I would be graduating with my B.S. in Chemistry, but that’s what happened. To be honest I know that it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the professors that guided me in the right direction (Dr. Hall , Dr. Dahm, Dr. Voegtle (now Clontz)) and for some amazing chemistry/pharmacy friends that made hours of work much more enjoyable.. Chemistry simply  became the best option at first, then turned into something that I enjoy studying, a topic that I could see myself in for the future, a possible career path, and something that challenged me on the daily basis.

Happy 4th of July

So what a awesome holiday! I grew up in a military town, had multiple family members in various branches of the military, and the BF used to be in the Army! So any patriotic holiday were always a big deal where I grew up!

Even more exciting my little brother left yesterday for basic training in the Navy!!! I have never been more proud of him and can’t wait to go and see him during graduation up in Chicago!

So this is too everyone who has/knows anyone in a branch of the military and to celebrating Independence Day!!! Happy 4th 🙂

 

Little brother!!! Yep this is the one who went into the navy :)

Little brother!!! Yep this is the one who went into the navy 🙂