30 September 2017

Busy Busy Bee

Hey friends!

I'm in that routine where there isn't a whole lot new with me right now, so this might be a little bit of a boring post (sorry). Coming up on the first round of midterms and just doing a lot of homework and readings. Working a ton, picked up an extra shift last night at Maggie's Coffee Shop and working 15-18 hours a week. Normally the school caps you at 15 hours, but if you work in the food services they'll let you work up to 20 hours. Working at Maggie's is seriously one of the best jobs I've ever had, it's really nice to not just be sitting at a desk filling or mundane computer work. I also had a shift at the bookstore last night, and then had Dance X rehearsal.

:3 some more behind the scenes 

Another typical Saturday, went on a quick run in Tryon this morning, and now I'm downtown doing my pile of homework. I will say, the amount of homework we get isn't too bad, and it's really nice to get a day in between each class (unless you're in a 4 day-a-week math or language class) but it does give you a bit of time to do your homework. But I like getting all my homework thats due Mon, Tues or Wed all done over the weekend, just because my week gets so busy I don't have enough time to put it all off. So the workload isn't terrible, but you definitely need to learn time management; my amount of work just is a lot because I squish it all into one day and I'm so busy during the school week.

It's also really nice that after midterms we get a short fall break!!! Last year I went on a College Outdoors trip for raft guide training which you can read about here  This year I'm going up to Seattle to see my mom and actually rest for the 3 days we have off (hopefully).

Classes are going well:

Molecular bio we're getting into more complex ways of thinking and how to run assays and design our own experiments looking at how we can mutate certain genes or promotors to see how that will effect the overall function. We're also just going into very detailed descriptions of everything to do with DNA, replication, repair and structure. It's really interesting and exciting... when I understand whats happening. Which, for the most part I understand a lot, but I get frustrated on some points where it's like my professor is just making up the rules on experiments, but as she's pointed out, that's how it is in the real world. With technology and genius scientists we can pretty much program things to exactly what we want. The class is very much more than just a basic understanding, it's more taking that and then jumping miles outside the box and thinking of new ways to incorporate what we know and make it something completely new.

Disease ecology we're learning about modeling and the whole SIR model and how population dynamics effect studies. It's a lot of math right now, which isn't my favorite but it's still all really interesting. It's a lot of reading, but it's cool stuff and it's all very updated. We get to study things that are happening now and that are always evolving. We looked into the 2014 ebola outbreak and studied very crucial current events.

Cross Cultural Psych is going well too, it's a little harder to keep this class as fresh in my mind just because it's only once a week and it's a night class and by the time we get to class everyone feels a bit dead from the day and week. But my professor runs the class so well, gives us breaks and brings us snacks. I wish the class was a 3x a week class because what we're learning is so interesting. I always really love psych classes - if nothing more than to have the classic "first year psych student disease" where you self diagnose yourself with everything you're learning about. But coming from a different - almost an outside culture and learning about how studies are conducted and the difficulties across the different cultures is really cool. I understand a lot about the difficulties when trying to recreate studies (at least for China) -- For example a big issue across other cultures with the US is a language barrier and how to keep the language equivalency. There is no word for "cousin" in Chinese, instead you'd have a word for you'r mom's older brother's youngest daughter and that would be different than you're dad'd younger sister's oldest daughter. This can get really hard when you're trying to define something more important for a study. We just read an article on how the attachment avoidance leads to less satisfactory relationships across the US, Mexico and Hong Kong. Their study had many issues when we were critiquing it - but thinking about language equivalency and cultural differences -- how do you define a satisfactory relationship? It's sometimes difficult and really frustrating, but it's really cool to also study all the issues.

And lastly, Chinese is going well. Still pretty much all review and kind of a boring class. I had a lot of issues even getting into this class and it's clear I'm not in a level that I should be at, but I'm just trying to get rid of the last gen ed requirement with this and then I'll be done with Chinese. It's mostly just the issue that not enough students at LC take Chinese so it's only a once a year rolling schedule and it's also a 4 day a week class and that is impossible to schedule as a STEM major with labs.

if you would like to hear more about my classes, learn about dance X, or if you have any questions about anything - student life, campus jobs, being a biology major or anything you can think of you're always free to email me! I love getting emails and it's cool to hear about where you guys are all from and what you're looking for in terms of college!




23 September 2017

Mountains on Mountains (of work)

Hey friends!

So if you've ever talked to me in person or stalked my socials it's pretty obvious that I love the mountains and Colorado. Even my planner reflects it. Anyway, point is, I love mountains, but not mountains of homework and work. Here's a little glimpse into my schedule and planner. We're coming up almost to the first round of midterms (just chapter exams, but they're called midterms here which doesn't make sense because we have 2-3 each semester).

Mountain sketches in my planner :)

Schedule :: but I often have meetings and things to do around campus in the short 1-2 hr block breaks

I get a good long day of work in every day so by the time I get to Friday I am ready for an early night, (Another thing you'll find out about me when you know me, I am a grandma) but I forgot I had dance X rehearsal until Thursday at 11pm (lol, classic me). Anyways, we're beginning to actually build choreo and it's super exciting! Here's a little sneak peak of behind the scenes.

Behind the scenes of Dance X 2017 (I'm on the far left)

Today is my only day when I have nothing scheduled. So this is my "get in a morning run so you feel productive and healthy, and then go downtown, set up camp in a coffee shop and get all your work done" day. I did get in a short run this morning, but it's a shame today is actually sunny and I've got my mountain of homework to do, but I'll try to get some time outside later this afternoon. 

Downtown Portland

Other then dance, I don't have a whole lot to report on classes and other pieces of life, but if you have any questions you can always reach me at ksaylor@lclark.edu or if you want to stalk my socials you can see pictures of campus and Portland on my instagram @kmjys97



16 September 2017

Week 2 Done

Hey friends!

Week 2 has come to a close. I'm downtown today on my one free day to crank out a bunch of homework and some time off campus.

Last night I came back to my dorm after getting off work from the bookstore at 5, grabbed a bite to eat in my room and set up to netflix and sleep early. However by the time 6:30 rolled around I was almost asleep (classic me lol). I made myself go for a run and made it about 2.25 miles down to the nature center in Tryon. It was slow and I haven't ran in about 2 weeks, but I got out there :) I went out again this morning on the same route. The smoke is back, we had a few nice days of clear air, but I woke up today and it smelt like a camp fire again.

The rain is supposed to come back tomorrow (and then not leave until May), I normally am not a huge fan on the rain, but I'm hoping it will help with these fires.

My classes are going really well so far, I'm loving what we're learning and my professors this semester :D

My schedule: Fall 2017
In Disease Ecology, we're learning about how pathogens infect hosts and what needs to be happen in the environment for epidemics to occur. We started studying different diseases such as Cholera and Ebola. I'm weird, I really like learning about the freaky weird stuff that can go wrong, it's gross and scary, but it's interesting. I'm hoping maybe in the future I can do something involving infectious diseases in the medical field.

In Molecular Biology, we're doing a bit of review and learning about DNA replication, structure and function.

Higher level courses are so much more interesting and fun, the class material starts to overlap. The viruses we're learning about in D.E - I know how that replication works in detail because of Bio200 and Molec.

Chinese - thats a review for me, and going easily and fine.

Cross Cultural Psych is only once a week, but it's a fun class. My professor YuPing is so funny and makes the class really interesting despite us all being really tired. We've been learning about ethics and how to conduct good cross cultural studies, and tbh most of what I've learned is that it's really freekin' hard.

Anyways, it's been a good week, and I'm really proud of myself for staying on top of my classes, my work and also getting out and running a little bit.

Dance X rehearsals start tomorrow!

I will keep you all updated with life, classes and dance. Feel free to email me whenever you want!



11 September 2017

Kicking Off Jr. Year!

Hi friends!

I'm backkk O.O dang, it feels like the summer just flew by and somehow I'm back and somehow I'm a junior???

For those of you new to Real Life, hi :) my name is Kate, I'm now a junior, majoring in Biology with a potential BCMB (biochem molec bio) major. I was born in China, but grew up in Boston MA/Boulder CO. Around campus I'm heavily involved in the dance program (Dance X and Y), pugilism (boxing club) and work with College Outdoors, the bookstore, I also work on the grad campus in the CPSY (counseling and psychology) office, the admissions office through this blog, and just this semester I got a job with Maggie's, our on campus coffee shop. I'm also taking molecular biology with the molec lab, disease ecology, Chinese, and cross cultural psychology. I'm also going abroad to Australia in January for the spring semester with my adviser and professor Greta Binford for the Biology program.

Hi all :) 

It's day 5, first Monday of the semester and I'm already swamped! I've taken up 15 hours of work, 19 credits, 6 hours of dance and I've also been trying to train for a marathon. So, yeah, yikes. I'll be doing my best to keep you all updated with my life here on Real Life, and at some point in the semester I'll do a few snapchat takeovers @lcpioneers.

Pugilism Club!!!

Dance X 2016

Running with my friend in Tryon National Park

I've been pretty busy getting back into classes and work. This summer I worked in Colorado outside of Boulder at a ranch camp teaching gymnastics and horse back riding :D I had an incredible time and getting back into a routine of sitting in classes and in the library is a bit rough, but it's been great to see friends again.

This past Saturday was Dance X 2017 auditions and I was cast into Kelleen's piece. Dance X is all student choreographed and mostly student produced. It's such a fun and amazing production we put on in December, and the work and talent is truly incredible. 

Anyways, I shall keep you all updated with dance and my life. I had a few perspective students reach out to me in the past, and I really love hearing from you guys! So, if you have any questions about student life, any of the activities I'm involved in or just want to say "hi" you can always reach me at:


I'm sure you're all back to school, so have a wonderful school year! Don't stress too much about college, I promise everything will work it's way out (cheesy I know) but Happy Back To School!