"Take it easy," she says

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm really surprised about how quickly my internship has progressed since I started 3 weeks ago (not including the week I took off for the TTT orientation trip). I remember the first few days, thinking about how boring my research project was, and how I was going to be so bored for the next 8 weeks. Boy, was I wrong.

Here's a quick summary of my week (July 9 Monday - July 15)
MONDAY - chill day. I wasn't as productive as I should've been. But even so, I couldn't find a good research article to report on for the lab meeting!

TUESDAY - I spent nearly the entire time helping two of my Taiwanese co-workers edit their English translation of a research proposal. Too bad it involved more than just editing. I had to translate much of the proposal because I couldn't understand what they wrote most of the time and I wanted to be absolutely sure that the translation was clear for any native-English speaker to understand. good grief, it was so frustrating because I barely know any Chinese science vocab, the original document was written in formal Chinese, and I can't read Chinese. My co-workers, on the other hand, are pretty decent at translating, but they have bad grammar and word choices.

WEDNESDAY - Dr. Wang drops the bomb on Faith and me: he is invited to submit a paper to this science journal on the special topic "Advances in Cosmetics", and he wants to use our research project for the paper.  Therefore, we need to finish collecting data in 5 weeks aka before we leave Taiwan. Good news - it's unlikely that the paper will be rejected, meaning that I'll get my name out there much sooner then the majority of college students. Bad news - it's week 3 and I haven't been able to collect data yet!!! and we're running low on materials!!! *arghhhh*

THURSDAY - I worked until 9pm. yes, 9pm! Meaning that I worked for 12 hours. There were two major steps in the project that I absolutely had to finish that day. Thankfully, one of my co-workers, Andi, who just came this week, decided to keep me company even though he was finished by 6. We talked about photography, Taiwan vs American stuff, college, music, etc. Out of all the Taiwanese people I know, he has the most interesting taste in music: he listens to a lot of American & British indie and underground music! I asked him how he found out about these bands, but he doesn't know. Ironically, his English is only so-so...

FRIDAY - Faith and I are really stressed because we're out of collagen and are low on other materials essential to the project. This will cause a delay in gathering data, and we have a tight deadline! I REALLY REALLY wish that the project was more organized. None of the methods and necessary materials are written or typed up anywhere. We can only get them from Tina, who has them memorized. idk how, because she's also working on 2 other projects at the same time. and to make matters worse, Tina's decided to take a week off from work, starting from Tuesday and didn't even let us know! and she's the only person who knows all the steps for this project!!!

SATURDAY - Went to the lab at 8am to work a little on the project. No, Dr. Wang didn't ask us to work on the weekends. We came by choice because it would speed up the project if we did. I made up for all my super hard work this week through some retail therapy later that day. More about what I bought in the next post! :)

SUNDAY - Went to the lab at 9am and stayed until 12. I hate how there's so much waiting in bio-related research. After getting back to my dorm, I just read some books and watched Despicable Me and an episode of Big Bang Theory with Dorothy, my awesome roommate.

Just to put this out there, I'm the youngest out of all interns at KMU because, according to TTT requirements, applicants had to be a rising junior in college to apply. I heard from a past TTT intern that he knew some people in the program who were only rising sophomores, so I was like, "why not? If I get in, awesome. If I don't, I try again in the future." Therefore, everyone I've met and/or befriended are 20+. The age difference doesn't really bother me, unless there's a seemingly significant age difference with the other person. But, in general, I think it's good to be around others who are older since I can ask them for advice about college, the dreadful organic chemistry course, and about life.

On Friday, I met another KMU TTT intern, Kathy. She's from Texas and is in her 2nd year of break from school before starting medical school in a few weeks. She's a really chill person. We talked about our aspirations, career goals, asian life, Southern life, and Southern accents (haha). And of course, we talked about college. At some point, she said to me, "Enjoy your few years in college. Take it easy, and don't stress over details too much, because that's what I did and now regret it." She explained to me that even though she went in-state for college, she didn't want her family to worry about paying for her tuition, so she was an RA and had a total of 4 jobs. On top of that, she was pre-med and was always studying, not enjoying college life. I think this was when I realized that I really do work too hard sometimes. When I'm in my "serious mode" aka school & work, I really do need to take a step back and take a deep breath. My first year in college wasn't as enjoyable as it should've been. Unlike many people who were "work hard, play harder", I was "work hard, no play". My freshman year in college should've been crazy and fun, but, in all honesty, it was pretty miserable. That's why this summer, when I'm not stressing and working hard at my internship, I've been enjoying life more. Being adventurous, trying different things I don't or haven't gotten the chance to enjoy back in the States.

Sometimes I wish my life was a fairytale. Or a movie. Even though the characters get stuck in unfortunate problems and situations, in the end, everything turns out to be ok. Although my life here in this foreign city/country is a bit tough, this internship is tiring & stressful, and the weather gets unbearable, I wish I could stay here longer. This lifestyle is something I've always yearned for - one with independence, meeting new people, excitement, making important work & non-work decisions, etc. It's one step closer to what life will be like in the "real world".

And of course, my problem with guys. Well, it's not really a "problem", per se. I'm still trying to get used to the (nice) flirting and comments. It's so weird because I'm just being me. imo, there's nothing special about me. I'm not seeking attention and nothing about me has changed since last year, really, except my self-confidence. When I arrived to Taiwan, I told myself to not get attached to anyone because, after this summer, I'll probably never talk to that guy again. But, idk, it's hard when you make new friends.

I don't want to leave this post picture-less, like how I did with the previous one. So this is a pic taken from tour week when we took a boat across Sun Moon Lake (日月潭).

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  1. Hey, I follow you on dA and that's how I found your blog xD But it's really interesting for me to read your posts about your internship, because I am doing an internship right now (in America though)and it's cool to read about other people's experiences. I'm a few years younger than you are, a rising high school senior, and I'm in my fourth week of interning and I know how stressful it is to try to collect data and obtain results from experiments... and it doesn't help that these experiments take so long to do. Anyway, I've been following your blog for awhile, and decided to finally comment because I can relate to a lot of the things you've written about here.

  2. Your internship sounds so intense! Even though it sounds really stressful too, it's really awesome you're getting to do this.

    And there are a lot of things special about you =), don't hold yourself back around guys, you only live once you know ;P