"Life is Cumulative" and Other Things I Learned in Immunology

Monday, December 16, 2013


Congratulations, we've reached the point in the semester where I seriously have stopped caring but have to continue caring so I don't fail all of my finals. WHEE. I have a final tonight for Immunology for which I am woefully under-prepared, so of course, I picked now to update the blog.  Granted, the last time I was woefully under-prepared for a final and blogging, I ended up getting a 95 on that final, so maybe this will work out for me. Who knows?

The last 10 days have been full of studying, appointments at doctors, and seeing some friends. I didn't really have much interesting post because I was spending my time in a conference room with some lovely ladies, cramming immunology into our brains. I did receive lot of clothes that I had ordered from Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Banana Republic, but I ended up returning most of them. I did keep a pair of jeans from Ann Taylor and a sweater from LOFT, but other than that, it was a bust. I just placed an order from The Limited and The Gap, so we'll see if my pants quest comes to an end with either of those orders. It's really hard to shop when you are 4'11" and have an extremely short torso... and aren't a size 2. I must have the strangest shaped body on the planet since I am convinced that there are approximately 5 things that I've been able to buy off the rack. And yes, I know, tailor things. But that's expensive and time consuming and isn't entirely practical at this juncture. Perhaps in the future, I'll post about some of my shopping woes so we can commiserate and give each other advice.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks have been rough, and this quote is one of my favorites. It's in a journal that I have and not only does it make me giggle, I also think it's pretty true. Sometimes, reality is stranger than fiction and that can be hard to deal with. It makes me feel better about feeling so out of control because sometimes, the only thing to do is to just lose it. Granted, I try to lose it in contained ways that don't affect my general ability to function. This is sometimes more successful than others. I've been feeling pretty on edge lately, and reality has been hard, so maybe it's okay that I don't feel great. Thanks, Philip K. Dick! (PS: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was lovely. Thanks for that.)

So, in honor of my immunobiology class ending tonight (T-6.5 hours until the final begins), I thought I'd post some quotes from the professor and TA's:

On why carriers and haptens are important concepts:
"You can inject a ton of DNP into a rabbit, they don't mind. They'll just turn yellow."

On why experiments get done the way they do:
"Immunologists tend to be lazy and cheap."

Prefacing the Clonal Selection Hypothesis:
"If you had fallen asleep up to this point... please wake up. Good morning!"

Before the midterm:
Student: Is the final cumulative?
Professor: Life is cumulative! Think about what would've happened if breathing wasn't a cumulative experience!

On how we make hybridomas:
"The good news is, unless you're a mouse, is that myelomas are inducible in mice!"

On receptor variability and how we get it:
"If you were God, you could do it that way."

Not even really sure what he was talking about here... possibly viruses:
"They can be induced to do weird stuff!"

On the complement system:
"Herein lies a very sad nomenclature problem."

On our presentations for the complement system:
"It cannot be offensive or distasteful. If it is, you will be eliminated and flogged."

Important life lesson:
"Inbreeding never ends well."

Explaining flow cytometry:
"The speed of light is really fast!"

Just for clarification on experimental design:
"This is not rocket science... this is immunology."

On standardizing answers:
Professor: Guys, it's the answer you should always give in this class.
Student: It depends?
Professor: No! Well... yes. But! No! You can't tell!

In response to construction going on outside of our classroom at 8 pm:
"I love Penn. Anything that can be done to disrupt education will be done."

On colleagues:
"There was this dude at Harvard. Ha. Dude. Gentleman."

In response to crazy noises outside of our classroom:
"That isn't good. Isn't that how it sounded in Jurassic Park before a T-rex came through the wall?"

On the secrets of immunology:
"Are you read for flies and dirty little secrets!?

The crux of immunology:
"If you get it wrong, you'll die."

And that, my friends, along with a million other things and abbreviations and cell names, is what I learned in immunology. Now, back to the studying!

Oh! Before I go! The blog has its very own Facebook page! Check it out, like it, and send it to your friends! And... check back tomorrow for a blog link up with Chrystina of Chrystina Noel and Jamie of Escaped from LA. Hint: It has to do with Target!

- A


  1. Hahah, I love things like this. I definitely used to take notes like this. Especially on orchestra music in high school...

  2. Thanks! I love collecting quotes. There's one for histology coming up soon... keep an eye out!

    (Also, I'm pretty sure I left a legacy of Dr. Powell quotes on our choir music. My brother definitely got some of mine from jazz, haha.)


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