Although it always takes some time for the weather to warm and the flowers to bloom, by the month of May spring in Exeter is always a wonderful time. It is sunny and hot, kids are always playing or sun tanning on the quad, and the mood on campus is unlike any other, especially as the final days of the year near. One thing that is different about this year’s spring is that I have had the opportunity to take Bio470, a special biology research course that Exeter started up in partnership with Stanford a couple years ago.
I won’t get into the details of the course, but essentially a few years ago Exeter and Stanford developed a piece of DNA that can hop around in a fly genome and be inserted into random genes. The lab we are working with is particularly interested in the fly body part that correlates to the pancreas, so if we find a line of flies that has expression in their pancreas during development, that would be of interest to the lab at Stanford. Instead of having regular Harkness conversations and preparing homework readings, we mostly sort flies and set up crosses for class time and homework. You not only get to do lab work first hand (learning immediately that anything that can go wrong, will), but you also get to hang out with awesome classmates and our teachers Mr. Chisholm and Ms. Rankin, who are both very smart and very fun. Overall, I am so glad I got to take part in this class.
Another part of spring term that makes it great is the tennis team! We have been having a great season, and we are the first seed heading into the New England Championships tomorrow. I will admit, winning matches is fun, but not as fun as being on a team with a bunch of friends.