July 8, 2015
Ever have one of those days? Today has certainly been one for me. It started out with my dog waking me up just early enough to be too early, and just late enough to go back to sleep. To top it off, my arm was completely asleep – I might as well been trying to open the door with a wet noodle. Though it was too late to go back to sleep, that didn’t stop me from turning off my alarm and dozing back off, only to wake with a start realizing that now I was actually late.
I jumped into the shower to find only a trace amount of shampoo left. How does that happen? I swear there was more in the bottle yesterday. Are bandits sneaking into my house while I’m gone to shower and use my shampoo? Is it evaporating? While I was rinsing out the minuscule amount, an alarm on my phone went off, causing me to drip all over the floor in a mad scramble to shut it off.
As I pulled on my skirt, I put my toe into the hem, ripping a good section so I chose something else to wear – and promptly tore the strap on the shirt. I moved onto outfit number three very carefully and eventually got dressed. I jammed my toothbrush into my gum, poked myself in the eye with my eyeliner and turned on my blow dryer to find it groaning like it’s on its last leg.
As I packed my lunch, I found two and a half crackers left in the box. Apparently the shampooing bandits are also fans of Triscuits. I began hunting for my laptop since it wasn’t in my bag and couldn’t find it anywhere. Eventually I called a coworker at the office who informed me it was on my desk. I haven’t forgotten to take my laptop home in more than five years!
As I drove the short distance to work, it became apparent that a lone mosquito had found its way into my car and was hell-bent on biting me. I started swatting at it like a crazy person looking a bit like this as I sat at a stoplight.
Mosquitos love me. I mean they LOVE me. I can be covered head to toe and loaded up on bug spray and they will still find a way to get to me – and in crazy places. I have one on my baby toe, my ear, the back of my heel and not just one, but four, on my backside. What the heck? I swear I was not streaking through a swamp. I was sitting on my deck in a dress and ended up with bites that you really can’t scratch in public.
But for all their annoyances (please let them die off soon!) at least a mosquito bite here in Michigan isn’t going to kill me. In places around the world where diseases like malaria and dengue fever are prevalent, a simple mosquito bite can lead to a life-threatening illness.
Many Spartans have dedicated their careers trying to solve problems like malaria and dengue fever. MSU researcher Zhiyong Xi is working to put an end to dengue using a bacterium that can stop the virus from replicating in mosquitoes that are the primary transmitters. Watch the short MSUTODAY VIDEO FEATURE: Breaking Dengue Fever, to learn more about his important work.
After watching the video, learn more about the man behind the research by reading Zhiyong Xi’s FACULTY VOICE: A Dream of Wiping Out Dengue Fever. Hopefully someday, the buzzing sound of mosquitos will only mean an itchy welt for everyone.
Speaking of sounds, all Spartans have a really cool chance to share their voices to make one incredible sound – the first-ever Spartan Virtual Choir! In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the MSU Fight Song, we’re asking Spartans to send us their versions of the song that we’ll put together one amazing performance. Visit the website, msu.edu/fightsong to learn more, or check out the video below.
The effort will take the voices of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends so put on your Spartan gear, warm up your voice and get singing!
Joseph Breck, a senior studio art major, is one student who credits the individualized experience he’s had at MSU for helping him find his voice in the world of visual arts. Watch the video in the STUDENT VIEW: Developing an Artistic Identity, to learn why he found MSU to be the perfect fit.
So I haven’t been having the best day, yet I refuse to give up. I didn’t crawl back into bed (OK, technically I did, but I got back up) and give in to negativity. I just keep plugging away, even with noodle arms, half-washed hair, a red eye and itchy welts. Zhiyong Xi has most certainly had one of those days in his lab or in the field, but he refuses to give up until he saves as many lives as he can. Joseph Breck is taking advantage of every opportunity MSU offers him so he can succeed in his field. Simply put, Spartans persevere, even when the going gets tough. Who will find ways to keep going when the going gets tough?
Photo by G.L. Kohuth