Warmest regards and salutations, dear readers! My name is Daniel J. Horn and I am a rising Sophomore Chemical Engineering Major here at Clarkson. As a member of the Clarkson Honors program, I have the privilege to share with you a glimpse into the crazy, hectic, and exciting life I lead. You may be wondering, why is he writing about his time during the summer, shouldn’t he be focusing on summertime fun and activities instead of school, and you’re certainly correct! But as I mentioned, I am a member of the Honors Program and I have the opportunity to participate in summer research right here at Clarkson! You’d have to be a fool to turn down summer research; I mean who doesn’t love free room and board in exchange for developing research skills and getting to see the campus in a more relaxed environment. Well, enough about why I’m here, let’s find out what my typical day looks like…
I generally roll out of bed at around 7:30 (8:00) each morning and begin my day by brushing my teeth, putting in my contacts, and showering. Once I’m dressed and my backpack is packed, I head downstairs to the kitchen to make breakfast; during the summer we are housed in the Townhouse Apartments which are luxurious compared to the regular residence halls. Breakfast usually consists of a fresh fruit smoothie, eggs and coffee. After the dishes are washed and the kitchen is cleaned I zip off to CAMP (that’s the Center for Advanced Materials Processing) to go into the lab. I’m working with the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department this summer and my research involves filtration membranes and differently shaped nanoparticles. I’m usually the first one to arrive since the graduate students like to sleep in, so I unlock the door and set up my computer on my desk. While my computer is waking up, (often it seems that I wake up faster) I go across the hall to the ChemE department office and catch up on the gossip with Carrie and Jean who are the department secretaries. After I’m caught up, I head back to the lab and my computer has started, so I take the chance to check my e-mail so that I’m aware of what’s going on in the world. Finally at around 9:30, Raju comes in and we begin research for the day. The morning is spent preparing silica solutions, analyzing their concentrations, and lately it has included trips to different areas of campus, namely the Chemistry stockroom and the CAMP machine shop to acquire supplies. At around noon, I head back to the Townhouse and have lunch. My roommate and I spend the lunch hour watching Millionaire until I head back to the lab. The afternoon is very similar to the morning, but often includes a visit with Dr. Baltus, my advisor, so that she stays in the loop of our “discoveries.” I usually leave for the day around 4:00, but that time varies depending on the workload.
After I get back from the lab, I change quickly and head to the Fitness Center across campus, usually work out for an hour or so and then head back. By now, it’s dinnertime! Since I have a kitchen, I enjoy showing off and honing my culinary abilities my making gourmet dishes and posting pictures to Facebook and Twitter via Instagram. Once the kitchen is tidy and the dishes have been put away I usually go socialize with friends or read. Most days I am able to get to bed by midnight which is a nice change from the later bedtimes I maintain during the academic session. My summer days are much less hectic and crazy than they are during the academic year, so I’ve started taking some time to indulge in some wonderful books as well as starting to prepare for next semester as an RA, CUSA Senator, and CUSA Committee Chair.
Well, that just about sums up a typical weekday for me, don’t worry, I do tend to have more fun and relax on the weekends, but as we know, the workweek should consist of work! Thanks for spending a day with me and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!