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2013 Term 2 Week 5 – Midterm season and painful shoes

My goal this week was to attend all my classes. I ended up skipping genetics tutorial again (oopsies) to buy (legitimately important) things. But I attended everything else! That’s something!

The Doc Martens I ordered came in on Monday. Hilariously painful at first, just like listening to that one friend tell the shittiest jokes over and over again, but now they’re quite fine, like punching him in the face.


BIOL 210 – Vascular Plants
Roots and Shoots! So much terminology. So many processes. Midterm next Wednesday. Scared.

Lab was cool(er) than usual. I forgot that my lab partner and I planted sunflower seeds at the beginning of the course, and three out of the four seeds germinated and grew to a considerable height. Although we had to remove one of the plants so that there wasn’t too much competition between the plants, we were chill with it because our plants were pretty badass. What can I say? Green thumb.

We also looked at poisonous plant stems under a microscope. Much to my dismay the plants didn’t fall onto someone and they didn’t turn into Poison Ivy and recklessly take over the biology building.

It also makes me nervous when TAs hover over me. My regular mode of dealing with this is stopping what I’m doing and pretending to look at cool stuff on the microscope. Oooh, those swirly xylems.

BIOL 234 – Fundamentals of Genetics
More pedigree stuff. It’s weird because it seems easy, but there are a couple of things that are tricky – but doable. I’m glad I’m understanding things because I was super-intimidated by the course. Out of all the biology majors I feel like geneticists are the most hardcore. Any other major to do with the environment or plants or species or whatever – now they seem more chill – but it’s the geneticists who are so precise and they will cut you when you’re not looking.

CHEM 205 – Physical Chemistry
Legitimately interesting when you sit in the first half of the classroom and not in the back row playing back-to-back solitaire on your iPad. Phase diagrams, Gibbs energy, and a discussion on water, which was – I’m not going to lie – a little bit inspiring. Ew.

FNH 330 – Introduction to Wine Science
Last week: here.

Okay so maybe I ripped on the TA too much –  I’ve come to a conclusion that the prof needs to GTFO.

Tuesday’s class consisted of a dull-as-hell lecture on viticulture (are you kidding me? Sentences and sentences of messy Times New Roman with cut-and-paste pictures along with Grade 7 swish PowerPoint sound effects after every line? They taught us to not do this late elementary + early high school), which I could have taught with more life instead of the prof talking to the screen and listening to himself.

After describing the advantages and disadvantages of machine harvesting and hand-picking grapes, namely the former process involving less selection of good-quality grapes, a student piped up mentioning that grapes are indeed still selected for usually by some process involving a conveyor belt (which she knew from personal experience from working in a vineyard). It was confusing and weird how defensive the professor became (something along the lines of “yes, I am aware of that, I was just giving an extreme example”).

It seems to be a common thread. The prof will often follow up with random useless wine facts after questions or during slides to puff up his chest and show who’s boss – unfortunately, some of the shit he has up on the slides directly contradict WSET standards (for example, he states that eating something sweet reduces the sensation of tannin in wine) while needlessly pushing his taste-profile agenda (BC wines evangelist with a strong dash of I-hate-aged-wines).

My TA said they’d be interested in attending one of my wine tastings and seeing wines be introduced from a non-prof’d perspective. At least that’s what I think I heard. I was mostly concentrating on the lack of backwards cap and lip ring. The next wine tasting is a collaboration with the UBC Jazz Café Club. I’m super excited.

The prof for some reason decided he wouldn’t provide the notes for the tastings during lab (I understand that tasting notes should be uniform and consistent among lab sections, but how are we supposed to trust tasting notes from one single person?), the very thing I complained about – so instead, the TA and the class collectively came together for tasting notes and came to conclusions on things. That made me super happy. I loved how there was a split opinion on the Malbec we had. Finally. Legitimate discussion. We also had a BC Merlot (surprise surprise).

We had a “quiz” on Thursday (20 percent of our grade) and I think I did well.


DipWSET, Certified Sommelier, garbage person.

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