DeBlogs > Tom Hagerman
As a senior, it’s increasingly on my mind that I will be moving on after the next two quarters. A lot of conversations with friends (and family members) these days are about what's next. There’s not much of a unifying theme to this entry. I wanted to talk about how my experience at DePaul is getting me ready for the next step, and this is what I’ve ended up with.
I’m incredibly grateful for my time at DePaul. Going to college in Chicago has changed who I am. I’ve been exposed to the realities of people in the world that I may not have if I wasn't at DePaul. Of course there are things that I wish I did differently, but I’ll save that for another time. Overall, DePaul has made me think differently about how I will contribute to this world. Not only have I drank the DePaul Kool-Aid, but I’ve purchased a pair of DePaul lenses (this is supposed to be symbolic).
So, how does this relate to DePaul? My curiosity to learn is symbolic of my time at DePaul. There’s no way that I could have spent time exploring all of these things in college. That’s the point though, right? We’re in college to become more prepared for continued learning. I would like to think that because of my experience at DePaul I’m prepared to continue my learning journey. Even more, DePaul has shaped the lenses through which I will take in new information and experiences. The Vincentian mission at DePaul constantly comes up in my head when I listen to an economics talk. There seems to be a contradiction between the growth that economics calls for and the human dignity that may be exploited in that growth. My experiences at DePaul have caused those thoughts, and I couldn’t be more thankful because I know that those reminders will continue to help shape the decisions that I make.
Given that I've had about three exams in the past couple of weeks, it seems appropriate to talk about my pre-test routine. As a science major you're bound to have more exams than papers, so it's not a bad idea to develop a routine sooner rather than later. I started to develop a routine when I was in the biochemistry year-long sequence. We had exams pretty often, and I found that when I had a little bit of regularity before the exams I was more relaxed during the exam. Here are the steps to my pre-test routine:
A Couple of Days Before Test:I make a playlist of 3-4 songs that get me pumped. These might be songs that help me relax or songs that get my blood flowing. I posted the two songs on my playlist for my most recent p-chem final below.
The Morning Of: If it's a morning test I will get up a little bit early to study (maybe 30 minutes). If it's an afternoon exam I take whatever time I have to go over any materials that the instructor made (like worksheets or old homework). After all, they are the person writing the test. I try to get in their mind and think about what they might ask me.
I’ve gone to the Bourgeois Pig a few times in the past couple of weeks. It’s nice because it is real close to campus and there’s lots of space to study. It’s generally pretty quiet in there, and it’s a big bonus that they have tasty food. It’s pretty busy on Sundays, but it's a great place to go during the week if you want to get out of the library for a little while.
Thursday night was a pretty long one for me… The best part about my all-nighter was that I had the company of Jess and Huanna. They’re both in my quantum chemistry class and senior chemistry majors as well. We started our night in the library and were there until 2am (when the library closes). Thankfully there is a chemistry computer lab in McGowan South that we have access to, and we were able to spend the night working there. I had class from 9am until 1pm the next day, and then I was able to work on my report until it was due at 5pm. It was a great feeling to turn in my report and rush home to sleep (for 18 hours... oops).
I’ve spent a good amount of time these last two weekends at a coffee shop in Wicker Park called Wormhole. I try to take the opportunity on the weekends to spend time outside of the DePaul area. This past weekend I had dinner at Dimo’s Pizza with my sister and friend Delaney before doing some work at Wormhole. I also spent some time at a coffee shop near my apartment called Intelligentsia. It's pretty great there too.
With that said, I’ve still spent the biggest majority of my time at the library on campus, and thankfully it’s quite a nice place to study. It’s nice to be around people that you know, and the environment is pretty productive in general. I know I’m going to miss being in this type of college environment next year, so I’m trying to soak it up as much as possible.
So, there’s a little eclectic taste of my past couple weeks of the quarter. Finals start this coming Wednesday (November 19th), and then it’s time for six blissful weeks of winter break! Those weeks are some of the best weeks of the year. Not to say that school isn’t great, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t like six weeks of freedom. I’ve got some fun things planned, but first it’s time to get through finals week.
The class is taught by Dr. Caitlin Karver. I had Dr. Karver for the organic chemistry
sequence my sophomore year (one year, three quarters of organic chemistry) and I now TA for her
organic chemistry 3 class. Dr. Karver is
also my research advisor. It’s really
nice to know the professor well for my concentration classes because I feel
comfortable asking questions in and out of class, and I also feel more engaged
knowing how excited the professor is about the subject.
We’ve read some incredible papers, and we’ve also read some
not so incredible papers (only two or so).
Each week of the class has been devoted to a certain topic in chemical
biology, ranging from activity-based probes to target identification and all
sorts of combinations in between. I’ve been able to investigate things from a
chemist’s standpoint, but everything that we have talked about has medical
applications. For instance, we read a
paper by that talked about a probe that may be able to identify the margins of
specific tumors. We also read a paper
that developed a method to identify antibody biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. The method they developed could potentially be
used to determine if a person has Alzheimer’s or if they may soon develop
Alzheimer’s. Another paper used fatty
acid content in blood samples of mice to determine the effect of potential
inhibitors. All of the papers we have
discussed have brought up tons of interesting applications of chemistry and the ways people all over the world are investigating different biological
The class has absolutely affirmed my choice two years ago to
change my major to chemistry.
Essentially, this class is what I was looking for from my chemistry
undergraduate education. I wanted to be able to connect my interest in chemistry to my interest in medicine, and this class has absolutely shown how chemists are so intimately connected to the medical field.
Below are a few of the recent covers from four of the many
journals that we’ve been reading from throughout the quarter.