Posting for the first time from the other side of the Pacific Ocean!
This summer, I am spending time back at home. However, while my peers are spending their summers wisely taking classes or participating in research programs and internships, I had the option of just sitting around the house letting the summer waste away.
Instead of that, though, I found myself an opportunity to ‘intern’ in a university research lab. I say that it is an “internship” because it isn’t anything officially documented (a program or such) rather it is the direct translation from Chinese. Regardless of what it might be called, it is a great opportunity for me to learn lab techniques that I might not ever learn in the classroom back in the States, and gives me a chance to practice my Chinese as well.
In short, it is pretty neat. I went for the first time today and aside from sitting around reading and studying, I got to see part of a lab experiment. One of the PhD students I ‘shadowed’ today was purifying some of her samples for further experimentation later this week. Though I only saw a bit of the technique (a quite mundane part, might I add), it gave me the chance to see the lab techniques we learn about in class. What’s also interesting (at least I thought it was) is that science doesn’t change, regardless of the language spoken or where the lab is. The technique is the same. The experiments are the same. And thats what draws me to science and medicine; there is a universal language embedded within.
Along with being able to work in the lab and see experiments (and help as well!), I get to assist in writing research articles. The PhD student that I was assigned to by the professor’s that I am working in (this particular student seems to be the one that runs the lab and is in charge of other students) is in the midst of writing a paper and needs it to be translated into english. She asked me to help her out so I am taking the next couple of days to work on that. It is pretty exciting to even be able to lend a hand in the translation/editing of a research article.
All in all, it was a good day in the lab. Tomorrow has been devoted to studying the MCATs at the Starbucks near my cousin’s house. Though I am giving up spending a day at the park with my cousin and her boyfriend, I know it will pay off in the long run. These few days have consisted of endless amounts of joy and shopping and spending time with family that I need time to myself, to study and sort through my thoughts. Since Starbucks is so close, I might as well take advantage of it. Besides, I wouldn’t be the true me if a trip to a coffee shop to study wasn’t involved 🙂