I think that tomorrow will be a great day, I am actually really excited for it. I always tend to get excited when exhibition comes around because we finally get to show off all of our work. This week I have been trying to make sure that my group is on task and prepared for Saturday. During the week we got to present our activity to the school during lunch and some people came up and it gave us so confidence that the people attending the NAMI Walk will enjoy playing our activity. Another things that we have been preparing is the little book and that was really improved yesterday, from Juan and Alex getting some critique from several different groups. Some of the things that I hope to talk about with the NAMI walk participants about this quote from my book, “What ruins many grain- and gluten-free diets is the on-the-go moment, when it’s easier to reach for a cereal, a granola bar, or a PB&J sandwich, instead of a hard-boiled egg, vegetables & hummus, or other Grain Brain-friendly snack. When we’re in a rush, we have little to no time to prepare a meal, and it’s often those grain-based foodstuffs that are easily accessible and available as we’re walking out the door” I really liked this quote because I can really relate to it, and it’s part of the stigma that we have been working on addressing. This can happen to anyone and it’s not just because we are teenagers that we don’t eat healthy.
I think that as of right now everything that I do, I do it because of my future. I always try to feel like everything that I’m doing is going to benefit my future. I know that I’m interested in going to college. I don’t know where , but I want to go. I’ve always thought that I wanted to be a scientist but recently I’ve been changing my mind a lot. There have been different experiences that have influenced my thinking like Max’s Culture Jamming project has made me feel really passionate about current events. I now feel the need to make a change in the world, and I know that I can. I am also passionate about math and it’s been the one subject that has stuck with me throughout school. As far as who I want to be as a person I think that it has always been clear to me that I want to be someone who makes a change in the world or simply doing something that will impact people’s life. I know that I have a strong voice and can stand for anything that I believe in. I know that there are still things that I need to work on. I need to work on finding motivation in things that I don't necessarily enjoy. I know that life is not always going to be all of the things that I enjoy but I know that I can learn to make the best of every situation. I still need to work on taking responsibility for all of my mistakes and actions. I need to work on being able to reach out to my support system, let them help me and trust them. Heading into internship I feel good, I think that I am going to be able to make the best of everyday. I know that it will be a very nice experience. I’m excited to get away from school, meet new people and make social capital.
For the critique my group and I got to work with a professional graphic designer that got to take a look at our products. During the critique some of the things that we wanted critique on was our tshirt design, we had some questions on whether it was appealing to the eye, or if you could even tell what our topic was from our design. Immediately we got some warm feedback from David, the graphic designer. He told us that he really liked the style of it looking like it has hand drawn and that he also liked the detailing of it. Some of the cool feedback that he gave us was that maybe to try and make our topic more noticeable we could try adding a broccoli to the brain or add some utensils to the sides of the plate. He also went to tell us a bit of some of the things that he get to experience at his work, like how depending on the company that they are designing a logo for they have to alway keep in mind the types of fonts that go with the company. He also told us about how you always what to make the logo simple enough that the audience gets it but also that they remember it. This really helped me because having a professional give me some warm feedback really helped me find the courage that I needed to know that the design is good and that I can do this. One comment that David had made, about how if a commercial was bad the customer would remember and avoid that product, made me realize how much work and thought goes into such a simple thing like a commercial. And I wondered if there was different planning for teen commercial and adult commercials?
This week during Biology we had to prepare for Festival del Sol, which is a school wide exhibition. Every single year I think that this is one of the most stressful times of the year because everyone is exhibiting but this year for me, I felt more relaxed. I knew that we were only going to show our progress and that calmed me down. I really wanted to focus on getting some feedback during the festival so that we could later improve our project. For our activity, we came up with the idea of playing a game where you have to choose a certain food that you think is the healthiest and then throw a ball into the corresponding basket to get a point. The game can be played with more than one person at a time and be made into a competition. I think that this was one of my favorite things of the night, getting to watch people interact and compete over their knowledge on nutrition. I was also nice getting to help them make better choices, there were times where because you hear things, you think that one food item is better than the other but sometimes it’s not. Something that I learned from our game was that there is a hormone, Melatonin, in cherry juice that is actually known as the “sleep” hormone. Overall there were many other things that I realized applied to me as well, I found myself rethinking my food choices throughout spring break before I ate them the following week.
This week in bio everyday we worked on our anti-stigma slogan that we want to exhibit on Festival del Sol, and I felt like I was really stuck on what I wanted to tell everyone about nutrition. So started out with something along the line of “Don't assume until you know what you’re putting into your body” but then I felt like this wasn't really something seemed to go along with what I wanted to tell people about nutrition, because I want people to always be conscious about what they put into their body and saying this to me seemed like I was telling people that they shouldn't assume that they did know. And I felt like it was like stigma more than it was anti-stigma. So I read a summary article that Vere, one of my group mates wrote and I read something that was very interesting to me, it said something about how the stomach was the like a second brain, in the way that it sent neurotransmitters up to the brain. And so this inspired me to write that the stomach was the body's second brain. Your mood and your health can depend on what you’ve been putting into your body.
This week was very exciting for me, we got to experience going to the U.C.S.D. C.A.R.E. Center and learning about some of the methods that they use when testing for mental health issues. Some of the tools that they showed us was a game we you had a paper with colors on it and you had to read the colors out loud, Example;
Paper : RED
Paper : RED
Paper : Blue
The goal of the “game” was to see how fast you could read each work out loud, You would start off with the first paper, get timed, then switch papers to the second one, get timed and then get to the third one which was the hardest and see how fast you could do it. When I got a chance to see it, it reminded me of a game that I used to play, the game was similar to this and was used as a way to exercise the brain. This was a cool connection to me because it made me realize that brain test could be very simple and could be done in a small time slot. This made me want to come and actually come with a an appointment just to see what all of the other tools they use are.
Going to Dr. Kauffman’s lab was a really exciting, I really enjoyed this day because I got to experience something new. Getting to actually participate and used the techniques that they use in the lab was eye opening. I have always known that I want to do something in the field of science in the future so for me this was a really exciting experience. Once we were in the lab we got to try things out. The first “activity” that we got to do was cut mice brains. There is a special machine that cuts the mice brain into really thin slices and you have to add a plate for the slices to land on, but since the mice brain is frozen when it touches the slide it melts onto it. The second “activity” that we got to do was see picture of the mice brains that were being studied under a microscope. I think that my favorite part of it was getting to cut the mice brains. When we were done with the lab we got to speak to some HTHCV Alumni that went to UCSD and it was really nice to get some advice from them. One of the things that stuck with me was that when they were choosing classes they made sure that they had at least one “easy” class so that they weren’t so stressed all of the time. I think that overall this has been one of my favorite day this semester.
This week I got to experience going to San Francisco with my junior class and check out some colleges. The whole trip was really fun and exciting getting to see new places. I really enjoyed getting to see some of the schools and it helped me see if I might want to go there. One of the moments during the trip that really impacted me was when we were at Cal Poly SLO, there was a HTHCV Alumni that was speaking and there was something that she said that really suck with me. She said that it was okay to go at your own pace, there are some people that will take a lot of classes and graduate in 4 year, but you might want to get to intern somewhere or study abroad and take longer, and that okay. It made me realize how much I still have to figure out what path I want to take in the future.
This week in biology we got to present our Teen Brain Health Proposals in class. What the proposals consisted of was a topic of the brain that the student felt passionate about or interested in, and what are some of the stigmas about that topic. The topic that I advocated for was nutrition. Nutrition has always been very personal to me because my grandma has diabetes and there was a time when I was very unhealthy. When I was in 9th grade most of the year my lunch just consisted of hot Cheetos with chamoy, and I never once thought about all of the damage that I was doing to my body and my brain. Since last year I have been watching what I eat closely because I started doing a large amount of exercise again, and after I would feel very tired and it was because I wasn’t putting the right “fuel” into my body. Not only was I lacking energy throughout my days, while doing some research I learned that I was also damaging my brain long term and was putting myself at a higher risk of diabetes, Alzheimer and other illnesses. There was a lot that I didn’t know about my health that now I know I do and hopefully with this project I can help other people.
During this week in Biology, my group and I got to cut into the digestive and the nervous systems of a fetal pig. At first I was nervous to cut into the head of the pig because I didn’t want to accidently hurt the brain, but after we got help from one of our peers we were able to see how we actually had to cut. Something that I learned this week from the pig dissection is that I can’t afraid of making the cuts. There are time that I want everything to go perfectly, that I hesitate to do things. I know that sometimes things aren’t going to be the perfect situation and I have to be able to work through it. This fear of everything having to be perfect is what sometimes holds me back, but recently I have learned that I have to just go for it. The pig was such a learning experience for me, not just with the biology part but also, I learned that it was okay to make mistakes, because you can always improve on everything. I think that this fear comes in because I’m afraid that if what I do isn’t perfect, my work or efforts, isn’t going to be good enough. I always want to live up to people’s expectations and my own expectations, that I make myself scared of failure.