Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Eighth Week in the Lab (7/17/17 – 7/23/17)

     I had to get the casein assay ready in time to test Priscilla’s samples. Luckily, once the new procedure was up and running, the nanodrop showed that some of the samples had proteolytic activity that Dr. England wanted from the lung samples. While Priscilla got more lung samples ready for the nanodrop, I had time to assay my mushroom samples to show that they too had proteolytic activity. While the gels showed that the mushroom enzymes could chew up beef proteins, the nanodrop would provide a numerical value to the proteolytic activity. After weeks of aggravation with the casein assay, the results from the nanodrop were looking good.
     Over the weekend I visited an Amish county and the Columbus Jazz and Ribs Festival with some friends. I ended up going to the festival twice with different people and had a great weekend. On Saturday I went on a short field trip to a nearby Amish county with the OSU Office of International affairs. We visited the Amish Heritage Center, where a gorgeous painting details the history of the Amish people. I learned about their persecution, their flight to the New World, and their beliefs in community and pacifism. We also visited the home of an Amish family and learned there are different types of Amish depending on how simply they choose to live their lives and how much they use modern conveniences like cars and technology. Moreover, because the Amish do not use contraceptives, one family can consist of 5-10 children. The Amish are very community based, and have a unique church system. There are around 20 families in each church and every Sunday, church services are located in the barn of a different family, whom also provide lunch following the service. Considering how many children are in each family, you need a lot of room for these events. The community also works together to build the barns for these services and can raise a barn in as quickly as one day.
     For lunch, we were treated to a multi-course, home-cooked meal in the home of another Amish family. There was salad, bread with this peanut butter-marshmallow spread that was delicious, mashed potatoes with brown butter, green beans, chicken, beef, spaghetti, and three different types of pie for dessert. I enjoyed their chocolate mousse pie the most, though by the end I was so stuffed that was all I managed to sample. The meal was served family style with the dishes being brought to the head of the table and then being passed down by the diners. There were even seconds! It was a truly heavenly meal. The Mandela Washington Fellows also attended this trip and at the end of the meal they thanked our hosts with a traditional song and clap. After the meal we were given time to buy souvenirs and ride in an Amish carriage at the main street area of the town. I enjoyed my trip and learned a lot about Amish culture.
     The bus dropped us off at OSU around 6pm. The roads near the Union were blocked off because the Vice President Pence was meeting someone here. I was a little worried because I had parked my bike at the Union, but security was kind enough to let me through. That evening I went to the Jazz and Ribs Festival with my friends Kelly and Sonny. While we were walking from the carpark to the festival, we saw the world’s largest gavel situated between the two justice buildings and decided to take some pictures. I had a great time listening to jazz and exploring the festival. There were companies lined along the bridge at the Scioto Mile (the same location as where the Arts Festival was held) handing out samples of ice cream, mints, almonds, and cheese snacks. We listened to one band, Mojo Flo, do an amazing cover of Redbone by Childish Gambino (who was also in the new Spiderman movie) and their original song Perpetual Conduit of Positivity. They were great! At one point my friends thought I had gotten lost. I was walking around trying to find a bathroom and afterward decided to get some ribs. There were maybe 20 barbecue companies from all over the nation at this festival, and the line for each was at least a 30 minute wait. Ribs in hand, I made it back to my friends and assured them of my well-being.