Five things that I will miss about Lafayette

This time of the semester, it is hard for me to sit still, hoping that time will speed up and hurriedly bring me back to Bloomington. But, since I will most likely be living in West Lafayette for the better part of the next three years, I had better start liking at least some parts of living here. So here are five things, in no particular order, that I especially love about living in West Lafayette / Lafayette

1.The Wabash. While most people who grew up here take it for granted, or even hate it b
ecause it is polluted, dirty, and floods, I find it a soothing influence. No matter what, it is always running south. Someday, I’ll get a canoe and float down south with it.

2. The stacks in HSSE Library. This is the best place to study on campus (even better than the bathrooms!) They have windows that open, private desks, and two outlets so I can plug in both my phone and my computer! I’ve spent more time there than anywhere else this semester, excluding sleep time.

3. My church. Immanuel Reformed Presbyterian has been pretty swell. The kids (little ones) immediately accepted me at the beginning of last year, even though I hadn’t been raised singing Psalms. And the parents followed their children. They are some of the craziest, most enjoyable families I know. Special thanks to the Pfeiffer’s, Larson’s, and Olivetti’s.

4. Being in biking distance to everything that is necessary. Part of the reason I am is because I have increased my biking distance to twenty plus miles… =) I have diffidently gotten in better shape, biking up to the
grocery, out to the Pfeiffer’s house (a good ten, flat miles from my apartment), to the Fort, and every other place imaginable. But, having a car will diffidently make my life easier.

5. Being outside so much that I already have tan lines on my feet. I know that as soon as I go back home, I’ll have some sort of job or another than will require me to stay inside with closed toe shoes. Why didn’t I choose to major in something that let me go barefooted? That should have been on my list of things I thought about when I picked what I studied.

The Taleless Rat

Last week and tomorrow in my A&P lab, we are doing a thorough dissection of a rat, looking at all of the various systems (muscular, digestive, urinary, reproductive etc.)


I really wasn’t looking forward to these two weeks. For one thing, formaldehyde makes me cry, just like onion. For another, we had been warned of both pregnant rats (and we later discovered that it was a very needed warning.) Yuck!!


Tuesday morning of last week broke bright and early and I got to my lab by 7:30. After a brief explanation of how to skin our poor rat, we went up to the front to get our rat.


In order for the rats to fit in our dissection pan comfortably, we have to cut off the tail. (It also really helped the squeamish factor. My lab partner and I were very thankful to see our tail go.) Tomorrow, after we finish dissecting our rats, we will have a competition for the best rat name. I think formaldehyde does something to our brains because nobody in our lab could think of a good name (Stuart and Templeton were both thrown around, but most of our rats were female.) I thought it would be fun to make up a story about our rat, about why she was so much smaller than the others, but we couldn’t make up one of those either.


Skinning the rat turned out to be no pleasant job because the connective tissue held firm.

But it was amazing to see how the muscles overlapped and looked like one giant muscle with fibers going in different directions. Also, every organ that we saw was beautifully and wonderfully made (even in a rat!) One of the coolest things was the pancreas, which did not have a firm structure and looked like cottage cheese. Anyway, it was not quite as bad as I anticipated it to be, but I'm still not looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of the dissection. By the way, did you know that rats have no gallbladder and no appendix?


Right now, my nameless, tailless, and taleless, rat is sitting, wrapped in a damp chuck, in my lab desk drawer waiting for me to come and cut her up some more. If you have any good ideas for names, suggest away. She was a black/white, small rat who had yellow teeth, was only slightly pregnant, and didn’t want to be skinned at all!

Environmental Ethics

In my ethics class we have been studying ethics around how we treat the land. Today my TA was wondering out loud if it were morally wrong to eat a tomato that had been flown in from Mexico during the winter because of all the green house gas emissions that were produced in transportation. That made me think of one of my nutty customers at Bloomingfoods last summer. She was at the salad bar, and demanded,

“Why aren’t these greens organic!!?”

“Well, they actually are. But because they are grown locally and not certified, we can’t sell them as organic.”

Then she exploded.

“I don’t care if we have to kill the whole state of California!! You NEED to see organic greens here.”

So much for supporting the local community…