Sunday, October 30, 2011


Halloween is here again! This past Friday, I was able to celebrate with some of my friends in Campus Fellowship at a corn maze located just outside Des Moines. We were blessed with a beautiful night of weather, and enjoyed navigating the corn maze, jumping on a giant pillow, playing in a huge pool of corn, sipping hot apple cider, and more! We ended the night by stopping at Abelardo’s, a great, cheap Mexican restaurant located in Des Moines. (and coincidently the same name as my grandfather).

Halloween was always one of my favorite Holidays growing up, and still is. I remember the nights where I would go trick-or-treating with friends down the street and bring home a pillow case filled with more than 30 pounds of candy. I liked dressing up too, I always wanted to have one of the best costumes!

This year I was a Dalton Academy Warbler, from the TV show Glee. It was a little bit strange because I’m not a huge glee fan, but for the limited time I was home this summer, I watched some episodes with my mom and we saw the 3-D movie. After the movie was over, she said that I would make a great Warbler, because I look like Blaine, the lead Warbler.

I kind of joked back that I would be Blaine if she made me a costume, and she took me up on that offer! Not only did she make me the costume, but she went all out. When I opened a package on Thursday, I found a blue jacket with red trim, and a red tie with blue piping, exactly like the actual Warbler outfit. If I could sing and dance better, I could be a legitimate warbler!

One of the coolest things was that people actually realized I was a warbler when I dressed up, not some secret agent or president in a suit. There’s proof that mom did one heck of a job!

Occasionally throughout the night, I was asked if I was going to give a performance (just like the real Warblers), but I had to decline because Warblers never perform solo, only in groups. My warbling partner is my dog Annie, and she was unable to make the trip down to Des Moines, but she has a red bow-tie with blue piping, and when I make it home for Thanksgiving, we’ll give a performance. Overall, it was an awesome night of fun and fellowship with some awesome people.

Until Next Time,


Myself, as a Warbler

Blaine, the leader of the Dalton Academy Warblers

Annie, my Warbling partner.

A very impressive mini Warbler

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Social Chemists?

Last night the first Chemistry Club Social event of the year finally happened! It was funny, earlier in the day I was talking to my friend Paul, who has a Ph.D. in chemical physics, and when I mentioned what the club was going to do later that night he responded jokingly, “What? Chemists and social just don’t fit right in the same sentence.”

Yes, there is a stigma that chemists, and scientists in enjoy working alone in a lab with limited social interaction. That’s certainly a myth, not a fact, and last night ended up being a great time!

18 others and myself met up and drove to the Sleepy Hollow Scream Park in east Des Moines for a night of hanging out and touring haunted houses. Being the weekend before Halloween, the park was packed and the lines were outrageous. We spent an average of an hour waiting to see two attractions, but it was definitely the best part of the night.

Most people didn’t know each other, and it provided a great opportunity to meet and talk about school and life. We bought a package that included visiting all five main attractions, but left after only seeing two because the waits were so long. Nonetheless, everybody seemed to have a good time at the park!

One of the nice things about Chemistry Club is its ability to generate its own funds. Most student organizations on campus get an allocation of a certain amount of money to spend each year, which comes from our tuition.

Chemistry Club on the other hand, sells laboratory notebooks and glasses at the beginning of the year and is able to generate enough revenue to sustain all of our Kids in Chemistry and social costs. College students don’t usually have a lot of money to spend, so it was nice last night where the club was able to pick up the tab!

Until next time,


Our first social event at Sleepy Hollow with Sponge Bob

Getting ready to shoot some zombies!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halfway Gone

Halfway Gone October 16, 2011

This weekend marks the halfway point of the semester: eight weeks down, eight to go! Classes are in full swing now, and things are really demanding! I’m really looking forward to the end of this semester, it seems as if my life is consumed by hw, lab reports, and upcoming tests 24/7. This weekend we have fall break and I am using the time to catch up and work ahead on homework and lab reports.

Not everything is dull though! The Lord has really blessed me this semester, and running has been one of the outlets I’ve used in order to remain sane. Our team this year has been incredible. This past Friday, we won the Bradley Invitational, the fifth victory of the season. Everyone is in high spirits right now, as it looks like we’ll be able to contend for the Missouri Valley Conference title in two weeks! Personally my fitness has progressed nicely so far, and I think if given the opportunity, my best races are still yet to come. I was our ninth runner this past meet, running 26:14 for 8k, four seconds off my personal best. I’ll try on keeping this updated better in the weeks to come!

In Christ,


Matt Eckman, Ryan Flynn, Doug Brady, and myself after winning the Grandview Invitational earlier this month.