My laundry is all folded and put away. I did all the dishes. It’s that kind of week. I woke up early yesterday to start a procedure in lab. We wanted to make the job take 1 day instead of the usual 2. (The deal was that I go in early and leave a little early and my coworker goes in at the normal time and stays to the normal time.) I like operating on a regular sleeping schedule, but I’m willing to shift things around to make the magic happen.
It’s been a long week, so last night, I was too exhausted when I got off work at 4 pm. I slept hard until 6 pm, and then a friend asked if I wanted to go to Chipotle. I really didn’t feel like it, but I put on a weather-inappropriate hoodie to go with my PJ pants and went. I started feeling better about halfway through my burrito.
I still didn’t feel like biking or doing anything very demanding, so I put on fuzzy pink socks and poured myself a glass of club soda in my T.S. Eliot mug.
I'm pretty sure my socks are from here: https://www.amazon.com/Plush-Multi-Color-Thick-Striped/dp/B0062PIR8Y/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1406225598&sr=8-13&keywords=fuzzy+socks
I highly recommend the socks.
My mug is from the Barnes and Noble in my hometown, but it's also available here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/home-gift-jeff-fisher-ts-eliot-quote-mug/23720135
What ought one do after one has donned comfy socks and outfitted oneself with a soothing beverage?
I haven't played any computer game since my senior year of high school. (Back then I was playing Portal and Starcraft Wings of Liberty.) I do enjoy them, but I am usually more likely to curl up with a book. I started playing Mini Ninja, a cute casual game I got fromHumble Bundle. I found it pretty relaxing. It took a while to get it working on my laptop, which just runs Linux right now. I used to dual boot Windows, but found switching too tiresome. I use Wine software to run any Windows programs I want, and PlayOnLinux is apparently pretty good for playing games on Steam.
I needed yesterday night to recharge my batteries a little. I find working in a biology lab to be really exhausting at times, but it is rewarding.
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to do a 10-week internship at Gilead Sciences in Foster City, CA. For those unfamiliar, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines.
With 45 Nobel Laureates on its Faculty Roster, it’s not surprising that research is an integral part of the Caltech undergraduate experience. One of the programs that promotes such research is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). There is no minimum knowledge or experience required to participate in a Caltech SURF. In fact, students can participate in a SURF as soon as the summer after their freshman year. It is not difficult to get a SURF. All you need to do is find a mentor who is working in an area of research that interests you and willing to mentor you through a research project. The mentor can work in a Caltech lab, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or at another participating institution. Once you find a mentor, you work together to write a project proposal that you later send to the SURF office for review and approval. About 98% of the SURF proposals get approved. This fellowship is a great way to explore various fields of research and obtain real, hands-on experience where you get to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve learned in class. Not only do you get to work and learn alongside your mentor, but you also get compensated for your time. The length of the SURF is ten weeks, and it starts at the beginning of the summer. However, it is not uncommon for many students at Caltech to continue their research project throughout the academic school year.
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.
Research at Caltech looks different for every student, and can often vary term by term. As a chemistry major, my course requirements are on the lighter side for a Caltech major, and many chemistry majors take advantage of the lighter course load to join research groups. This can be whenever the student wants, but many people join labs during their freshman or sophomore years. Some may work in one lab only, and some may switch between labs during the course of their undergraduate studies, depending on if their interests change.