Honors Summer Snapshots: Becca

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Honors senior Biology student Becca Lair has had an “awkward in between summer,” which has turned out to be kind of perfect:

When trying to describe my summer for this blog, I have kind of been drawing a blank. For the first time in several years I decided not to take summer classes and work my full-time job back home over the summer, and instead stay in Ames and focus on trying to go to medical school and volunteering with my lab, among other adventures. Long story short, I’m glad I did it! I, like many honors students, tend to be the kind of person who tries to do a lot all at once so to have a summer where I got to do one thing at time was kind of a relief. Here’s some of my summer adventures, enjoy!

The beginning half of my summer was not terribly exciting. I worked in the Biology Program office in the mornings as an orientation assistant, then the rest of my day pretty much looked like this: sitting on my couch with some cheese and crackers studying for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), as well as filling out actual applications. If you want to know the secrets to class scheduling, I’ve got them!


However it wasn’t all boring and lonely! I made a new friend this summer, and his name is Alduin. One of my favorite adventures this summer has been babysitting (lizard-sitting?) this little guy for one of my friends. I’ve never really taken care of a reptile before, and I was super worried about it, but he’s really a very awesome lizard, and my roommates and I now consider him our fourth roommate, and will be very sad to see him go.


During the spring I started doing research with Dr. Stegemoller on music therapy for people with Parkinson’s Disease. Over the summer I volunteered to keep doing it, and I learned so much. Here I am testing out our wireless EEG cap for a data collection. The cap measures brain activity while our participants are completing motor tasks. In addition to doing the research we also do exercise outreach for people with Parkinson’s disease within the community. So, in addition to wearing high-tech headgear, I also put on my dancing shoes and learned to tango, as well as boxing gear and took a couple hits.


The final part of my summer has been taken up with lots and lots of color guard. In July and August I work for my old high school teaching color guard, and currently I serve as a guide for the Iowa State University “Varsity” Marching Band color guard. Every other weekend I help lead Iowa State color guard audition camps and then during the week I go home and write choreography for my high schoolers, and instruct them on guard and marching technique.


This last one is just for fun! One big life bucket list item I had the chance of doing this summer was seeing Paul McCartney in concert and here we are! Also, because I got to actually have a little fun this summer I crossed some things off my college bucket list. Finally, I visited almost all of the businesses on Main Street in Ames, went to Taco Tuesday, and even to the popular Des Moines Farmer’s Market. Ames is a really great town, especially during the summer, with no traffic or lines of students to go anywhere, and I definitely recommend every student spend a little time here over the summer and try some of the local shops.

My summer was odd, not very busy, and, after thinking about it, I’m glad that is how it went. I enjoyed getting to mix it up with work, volunteering, and adventure. Maybe an awkward in between summer was just what I needed to take senior year by storm.


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