Where I have been.

 

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March, 2018

Life is crazy. As you can probably tell, I have been inactive for more than half a year. Though I must admit, that I have not been very active before that either.

 

I love to read books, I love to write books and I love to review books. However, the latter takes a lot of time and energy, when your mind is filled with other things, more specifically, university stuff. Almost exactly 10 months ago, I started my bachelor thesis. And as you might (or might not know), a thesis in science if often written about a research project one conducted. At least that was the case at my old university. (Yes, you read right: I am no longer at my old university. But more on that topic later.)

Before officially starting my thesis, I had to start working in the lab to get some first result. And as it is often the case in research, my topic changed a couple of time, because of the results we got (or did not get). In fall, I had this crazy idea to randomly apply to universities for a master program. Honestly, I did not think this through. The application for universities in Germany normally takes place in December and January, sometimes even February. This depends on whether your program is restricted by grades or not. But back to the fall of last year. In one of the many hours of waiting in the lab for some experiments, I decided to look at masters. Since I would be starting in the spring, most of the programs were not available for me. Originally I even had the idea of going to Great Britain, but I did not find any programs starting in spring. However, I did find several programs accepting applications in another country: Denmark. So, I applied, did not even really think about it, until I got accepted. However, due to some circumstance, I rejected my place (I did not think I would finish my thesis until February 1st, the start of the semester in Denmark). Thankfully, there were some mistakes made in the progress. But more to that later. Shortly before Christmas, I also applied for a university in Germany, which was really close to my parents so I could see them more than twice a year. I was really hoping I would get in, and I was really happy when I got the invitation for the interview, which was in January. By this time, I had already officially started my thesis and had to turn it in a week after the interview. One week before the interview, we found out that all of our results were false. Mostly, because the instrument was not working correctly and had to be readjusted. During my thesis (and almost during all the weeks since August) I had worked 40 to 50 hours per week in the lab, not counting the 2 to 3 hours I spend every night, trying to evaluate our results. On average, I slept 4 hours per night during those weeks, when I would normally sleep 8 hours. The last week before the interview, I spend more than 50 hours in the lab, evaluated the results afterward and wrote on my thesis. The last thing on my mind during this time was the interview. But in all seriousness: How would I get a place in the master program if I failed my thesis? I went home to my parents the day before the interview, which was in the morning. Thankfully, my mom was kind enough to drive me to the interview so I could try to relax a bit. Things did not go as planned. I had a mental breakdown during the interview, started crying a river (it was embarrassing, seriously) and basically could not answer a single question. I almost could not even tell them my name. After that disaster, I had already expected the rejection, which came a day after I turned in my bachelor thesis (which I actually did pretty well on after I motivated myself by saying I would show them that I am better than that. Don’t even ask why I was telling myself that.). Anyway, I received the rejection while going to London with my family, which was sort of a celebratory trip for handing in my thesis. A few days later, still in London, I got an email from the university in Denmark. There have been some mistakes in removing me from the programme. Honestly, I thought this message was a sign of God. To sum it up, I was readmitted to the programme and could start my studies there. During that time it had not even hit me. It took me around half an hour to realize, I would have to move to a different country in the course of 4 days to start the semester. I was lucky enough to get a furnished room right away through the university, but so much was still unplanned. All of my stuff was still at my old place at my old university. I had a backpack full of clothes with me, which I brought to London. So I borrowed my parents’ car and my sister’s Laptop, drove to Denmark the day after we arrived back from London and started my master programme. (I went to my old university the weekend after that to get my stuff.)

 

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Nyhavn, Copenhagen 

 

It would have been lovely to study in Germany, close to my parent’s place and in the same city as my best friend. But I am happy, with where God has planted me. Everything has worked out more perfect than I ever imagined, but I hope you can understand that I had to get settled in for a while first, before coming back online. I made some lovely friends, found an amazing church with awesome people from all over the world and had some really interesting lectures this semester. It was challenging at times, but also a lot of fun. And I plan to make the best of being here.

So this is where I am now. Four months ago I moved here and today I have finished the last exam of my first semester here. Now comes the summer break. 3 months of doing nothing. After this crazy, hectic and stressful year, I am really looking forward to it.

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Treffen sich zwei Gene von Ernst Peter Fischer

~~Das Bild des Gens im Wandel der Zeit~~

201703191539333496_sbigTitel: Treffen sich zwei Gene

Author: Ernst Peter Fischer

Genre: Science, Nonfiction

Publikation: 06. März 2017

Seiten: 336

ISBN: 9783827500755

Verlag: Siedler Verlag

Zusammenfassung:

Die Fortschritte der Genetik sind enorm – und die herkömmliche Vorstellung, Gene hätten einen festen Ort und klar definierte Aufgaben, ist nach neuesten Erkenntnissen überholt. Ernst Peter Fischer zeigt, warum wir ein verändertes Verständnis der Gene brauchen: Sind sie doch etwas Bewegliches, mit dem unsere Erbanlagen einen ständigen Wandel vollziehen.
(übernommen von goodreads)
Rezension: 
Das Buch bietet eine kurze Zusammenfassung der Genforschung und Molekularbiologie und endet mit einem Ausblick auf die Zukunft des Gens.
Vom Deckblatt des Buches bin ich angenehm überrascht. Mir gefällt, dass das Cover schlicht gehalten ist, aber trotzdem einen gewissen Wiedererkennungswert hat.
Da ich die im Buch aufgefassten Themen im Studium gelernt habe, waren mir die meisten Zusammenhänge schon vorher klar und ich konnte seinen Erläuterungen ohne Schwierigkeit folgen. Jedoch bin ich mir unsicher, ob die genannten Fachbegriffe, die nur teilweise erläutert werden, dem allgemeinen Publikum bekannt sind. So werden am Anfang Begriffe wie DNA und RNA ausgiebig beschrieben, während die recht komplizierten Vorgänge, wie das RNA-splicing, nur im vorübergehen benannt werden. Des Weiteren sind die Satzstrukturen teilweise etwas verkompliziert, sodass das Lesen unnötigerweise erschwert wird.
Aufgrund des Titels versprach ich mir eine etwas humorvollere Darstellung der Thematik. Leider wirkte das Buch an einigen Stellen dann doch ein wenig trocken. Dennoch bin ich zufrieden mit der allgemeinen Informationsvermittlung. Im Buch sind einige Zeichnungen zu finden, die die genannten Themen weiter veranschaulichen.
Insgesamt war das Buch für mich eine nette Unterhaltung und besonders der historische Kontext des Buches hat mir gefallen. Meiner Meinung nach, hat der Author den Weg von den Anfängen des Gens bis zum heutigen Bild des Gens gut zusammengefasst und den roten Faden in der Geschichte nicht verloren.
Ich danke Randomhouse für ein Rezensionsexemplar.

A Week of Scotland

Hey there!

I am back! Almost two month ago I made my last post about my goals of traveling more often. And now I am back! A week of traveling the scottish highlands has left me tired but happy. I wish I could describe the stunning nature, but there are no words imaginable to describe the beautiful country.

But lets start at the beginning.

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August Favorites

Blueberries

It is blueberry season! I bought blueberries once this month, but my mom send me two packages with blueberries she picked! You can definitely tell a difference between store bought and hand-picked. Sadly, blueberry-season is over now and I will have to go back to eating stop-bought ones. 😔

Kettle & Toaster

My flatmate moved out for the next 6 month to do an internship in Vienna. On the day of her move she decided to take her Toaster and Kettle with her. I can’t exactly say that I am sad about it because I bought these beauties at Lidl, a grocery store here in Germany for less than 20 € each. And they are so cute! I love the vintage and girly vibe! They are just perfect. 💕

Lemonade

I don’t know if you remember my posts from NaNoWriMo last year ( Yes, I totally failed at writing a post each day, but at least I won.) During that time, I met some lovely people and we met up almost every weekend during November to write. The tradition still stands. Not every weekend, but at least once or twice a month we meet up to write and talk or, in my case, study. As a tradition we go to the same cafe every time and I always order coffee. ☕️

But this month, during one of the extremely hot days I decided to follow the advice of one of my friends and got one of their homemade lemonade. Life has not been the same! Their lemonade is really tasty, sweet, but not overly so and the even put fresh fruit in their drinks!

Nailpolish:

In another shopping spree to avoid studying I found these beautiful nail polishes from essie. They came in a pack of three and I absolutely love these colors. I am normally not a big fan of light pink nails, but the color is perfect for summer.

 

I hope you enjoyed my monthly favorites! What is your favorite this month?

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MerkenMerken

social anxiety

Hello peeps!

Today I come to you with a slightly different topic. I want to talk about my social anxiety and how it really affects my life because I know there are a lot of people out there who have social anxiety, are introverted and shy. I always find it comforting to know that I am not the only one feeling this way. Whenever I am in social surroundings, I feel like I am surrounded by confident people, who walk into the room and their energy is everywhere. They control the conversations and I really think those people are great and interesting, but I am NOT one of those people and I feel that a lot of the time I hold myself back from being the best I could be  because I still have such intense social anxiety.

One of the reasons is that I am so worried that people get the wrong impression of me. I do not mean this in the vain way, where it is associated with this negative connotation, it is more of an “I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I dont want anyone to get the wrong impression of me and my intentions.” I don’t have never been a confident person, but I was (mostly) comfortable with myself. But why do I forget that when it comes to social interactions? I know most of us have been raised with phones and computer, so there is a lot less face-to-face interactions. But is that really the reason, why me and many other people struggle with this?

I allow people to completely overrule me, completely outtalk me, but I try to say a sentence and I will be shut down and will respectfully listen to them. For me it is a sign of respect, when you don’t interrupt someone and I have this invisible barrier that forbids me from interrupting them, even though they do the same to me. I don’t want to make them uncomfortable, just because they’re making me feel uncomfortable. However, this whole ordeal doesn’t make me feel good after the conversation.

I hate the anxiousness that courses through my body whenever I am in a social or unknown situation. I clamp up, stop talking and just stand (or sit) there. My friends or acquaintances think that is my normal personality, that I am not interested in talking to them, or that I don’t have anything to say. In those moments however, I feel so trapped and suffocated, that I can’t think of anything but trying to breathe. It feels like my environment is sucking the air out of me. I am trapped and suffocated, like my body is some box, that I can’t break out of.

And I hate it. I hate the feeling, the pain, and the thoughts. These memories of the occurrences seem to be branded into my brain forever and I find myself thinking about it as soon as I am alone. This leads to me being even more anxious. I am scared that this will happen again and recently I realized that I started to avoid even spending time with my friends.

On some level I feel confident in myself. I was quite proud of my grades in school, I am confident in my ability to go running and I am pretty funny and sarcastic (when you really know me and I am comfortable with you). But how can all of these things leave my brain, when I try to hold a conversation with a stranger? Or a person more confident and “louder”?

But I also realized the past few month, that it is okay. It is okay to be quiet, to be a listener, a thinker and an introvert. Because how could it work, if all people were extrovert, loud and had a dominant personality? Just be you. Find people who are likeminded, who are interested in you and don’t mind if you need some time to get comfortable. People who don’t mind talking, but don’t undermine you by interrupting you when you are trying to get your point across. I believe in you!

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I am packing my bag…

…because I really want to travel! I can finally tell you: In October I will fly to Scotland with my sister for a week! Aaaargh, I am so excited already. Before deciding on Scotland, I looked through my travel bucket list to get some inspiration. I knew I only had a limited amount of time (because my sister has to go back to school) and we both don’t have enough money for some exotic location. While searching through the papers I thought, why not share this with you?!

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Spring Cleaning: How To Clean Your House In One Day.

As the winter goes, and the flowers start to bloom, it is the perfect time to purge, clean and organize.

Do you also belong to the group of people who dread the annual spring cleaning? I for myself try to keep the house clean consistently, but every once in a while, the dishes start to pile up and I wonder how long I forgot to clean the bathroom. And its times like these that I get  call from my family, announcing their visit. Tomorrow. During the past years I have build a plan to not loose my cool while cleaning everything in one day.

Start with the bathroom. If you start at 9 am, you can sleep in, but you won’t waste the day away. First put the rugs in the washer. If you wash them now, they will be dry by tomorrow. Next replace the towels with new ones and wash the mirrors and windows. Look through your bottles and articles. Are there any old ones? Through them away! 😉 Are there empty ones? Toss them too! Next clean your bathtub/shower by spraying the whole tub and all tiles and scrubbing away the grime.

Followed by the cleaning the toilet and wiping off the appliances, you are almost done!

To finish off, there is only the floor left. Vacuum the floor and the ceiling and wipe the floor. Congrats! Your are done with the first part!

 

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Next we are moving to the bedroom. Remove all the clutter and dust all surfaces. Open the windows to let in some fresh air. Place the drapes, linens and sheets in the washer and clean the windows. Vacuum rugs and wash them too, if you can (Look at the manual!) If you have hardwood floor or tiles, you can finish this room by wiping the floor. And if you have some time left, feel free to go through your old clothes and throw away the ones you have not worn since the last spring cleaning. 😉

 

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Now treat yourself for a lunch break. You deserve it! 😜

After lunch, you continue with the kitchen. Clean the refrigerator and freezer and throw away old food. Clean the windows, wipe all appliances, the stove and the cabinets. To finish off, empty the trash and clean the floor.

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The last room of this spring cleaning is the living room. Dust all shelves, the TV and electronics. Clean the windows and the carpets and vacuum the couch. At the end, you clean the floor and throw the pillows and blankets in the washer.

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CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE DONE! 🎉

 

The Moonstone (Enchantment #1) by Evelyne Contant

29241744.jpgTitle: The Moonstone

Author: Evelyne Contant

Genre: Fantasy

Publication: February 21st 2016

Pages: 342

Find the book here: Amazon

Summary:

Fear, love… and betrayal; that’s what I feel about my new life.
It’s a life I never asked for, at least not like that.
I certainly dreamed of adventure, of escaping from my ordinary life, but nothing prepared me for what would happen when my normal life flipped upside down.
On that fateful day, a witch, a real one, revealed to me that I’m not human! That’s right, I, Lou Mills, am an enchanter like her! It seems that I’m the key to an ancient prophecy and that I must save the world from the imminent war between humans and enchanters. What waits makes no sense; in fact, nothing seems to make sense to me since meeting her.
And then there’s this man…dark and mysterious…but so attractive. If only I could forget him. Duality is the way the Earth remains in balance, black and white, right and wrong, love and hate. What side should I fight for when the war finally breaks out? How to choose between my family…and the people who I belong to?

(via goodreads)

Review

The book was beautiful and I absolutely hate to wait until the next in the series is published.

“Good and evil are just a matter of perspective. They’re opposites that are separated by a fine line.”

It starts of slowly and the author takes her time in building the world. I liked this because that way one really gets to know every detail and the mood is set for the story. The real action starts after the first quarter of the book and by then it really gets interesting. So much is happening, that I am amazed this is only one book. The characters were amazing. I love Lou. She is relatable: She loves books, library and solitude, three aspects which I enjoy myself. She is loyal to her friends, optimistic and enjoys life.

The evil counterpart however, I can’t seem to figure out. I liked him, then I did not, then I liked him again.  And then I despised him. And the whole process repeats. There was just something about him which drew me in. Probably not his obsessive side. I don’t know. Evelyn, why would you do that to me????? I WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH!!!!

The mythology in the book is very interesting. Each enchanter has gifts that are connected to earth, water, fire, air or ether. There are many different gifts represented in this book, some of them I have never heard before. (Or do you know what a “horrifier” does? )

The plot twist at the end destroyed me. I really can’t wait to see how the story continues. (How often did I say that?  😁)

I give this book 4/5 stars, because there were some parts where I felt like i just get information dumped on me, but other than that I absolutely loved it!

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review, but this does not influence my opinion.*