Thursday, March 19, 2009


Hi everyone.

So we are in committee now. Another completely new experience for me. During committee we discuss all of the files and create the best class possible. We are still only starting so I will post some pictures and more details next week, but to tide you over until then, here is another post from one of our fabulous Admission Fellows.

Hey readers,

I’ve never written a blog before so I hope I don’t fail you. There’s really a lot going on with me these days as I close out my last semester of college. Mostly what’s on my plate the next few weeks is my thesis and finding something do after graduation.
Just to give you all a little background on myself I’m Tori! I’m a Neuroscience major and a Spanish minor here at Pitzer. While I finished my minor a while ago I still have quite a bit of work left on my major.
As a Neuroscience major I’m required to complete a 2-semester experimental thesis project of my own design. I spent last semester doing background research and designing my experiment and this week I’ll finally start it! I’ll be studying the effects of increased serotonin through dietary means. You guys might have heard about Serotonin in reference to depression, but it does a lot of other things in your body as well. Serotonin is really considered the universal neurotransmitter because it’s involved in so many processes from appetite and weight control to regulating body temperature and how much pain you feel. Also, of course, it affects your mood and emotional state.
Basically what I’ll be doing over the next 2 weeks is administering tryptophan dietarily, which is a protein you normally get from some foods. You might have heard that it’s in turkey. This protein, and only this protein, becomes serotonin in your brain. I’ll be watching for various effects of this treatment and trying to help determine if tryptophan could be a viable treatment option for various conditions such as depression or acute pain.
My study should end just in time for Spring Break so wish me luck! Hopefully there are no snags that would prevent me from having to stay here over break but they don’t call it experimental for nothing.
After the study ends I will write up my results into the paper that will be my actual thesis and I’ll also create a poster for presenting my findings. When I say a poster I don’t mean I’m gluing things to a piece of poster board, it’s a professionally-printed 5 foot by 3 foot display and no easy task to create.
Even though thesis is the biggest item on my plate right now I still have other classes that I’m taking and have to keep up with, like I have a midterm in Cell Bio tomorrow that I’m not very excited about. I’m also taking a class on Meditation & Xi-Quong, which is a slow martial art. I thought it would be nice to take a class that was designed to relieve stress! My last class, but not least, is Neuropsychology which I love. The professor is hilarious and we get to learn about the effects of head trauma and things like that.
Despite all the work I really do love school and will be very sad to leave it. After spending four years here I’ve come to know a great deal of people that I don’t want to leave behind, but at the same time I feel like I’m ready for a transition, something new. It’s very bittersweet really. I imagine you all are feeling something like that.
Well enjoy your last semester of high school and be sure to make the most of college when you get there. And keep reading! Who knows, maybe I’ll post my thesis results….

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