April community service hours: 10 Hours (6 KIPP; 2 Soil Collection; Park Clean-Up, 2)
Upcoming May Hours: 14 Hours (8 KIPP; 6 Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation)
Spring Semester total community service hours: 34 Hours (48, including May)
2016-2017 Academic year total community service hours: 68 Hours (84, including May)
Was happy to return to KIPP three times this month. Partook in various task to help out the teachers and administrators: made name tags for students for this event/activity they were having for Easter/Spring Break, filed more papers in the administration office, organized the T-shirts in the KIPP "Clothing Closet," and more. The teachers/administrators were very cordial and congratulatory for my successful completion of the Masters program. Fortunately, as I will be staying here in New Orleans, I will be continuing to visit KIPP weekly; everyone seemed to welcome my return.
For our Environmental-Pharmacology course, each of the members in our program were tasked with going out in New Orleans (to three different sites) and collecting soil samples. In particular, the samples were collected from areas where children often spent time playing, interacting, etc. For example, one of my samples was collected from Audubon Park, very close to the location of our Pharmacology Department Party. The samples were then tested with a high-tech machine in Dr. Mielke lab for lead and other potential toxic metals. In class, Dr. Mielke employed a cheaper, portable device which gave us read-outs of the lead values. It was interesting to see how the data from our class, corresponded neatly with what was previously identified by Dr. Mielke.
A few times this month, with the weather only getting progressively sweeter, I went out with Nora (from our program) to Audubon Park. We took trash bags and just walked around the park picking up an assortment of items: plastic bags, coke bottles, beer bottles, plastic plates, etc. The city does a phenomenal job of keeping the park clean, but still, it's tragic where you find pieces of trash, just bottles left on ledges or benches. The worst part is that a trash can is often only a few steps away. I really dig the park, and look forward to going there more this summer and in the future.
In a few weeks I will be helping out for CDG Day, the Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation, On May 1st, the Hayward Genetics Center is having an event; on May 10th, the Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children is doing an event. I am not yet sure what I will be doing at to help, but a couple of us, those of us who remain from the program will be participating and it should be a good time.
I have enjoyed this program so much, I am honestly unable to express it in words. I think the experience has been absolutely phenomenal, and I have learned so, so much. Dr. Clarkson does an incredible job with the curriculum, as a Professor, and more. His enthusiasm and dedication for learning and teaching is something every Professor, and every student, should strive to match. I worked hard in this program and it gave it all back 10-fold. I feel prepared for what lies ahead, and know it will make a substantial contribution in my future acceptance to medical school, and more importantly, will help me excel as a medical student.