Work

This past week has been all about preparing for NANO KOREA 2021!  NANO KOREA is an international nanotech symposium and exhibition that will be going on its 19th year this year.  Our lab has been putting together 80 total kits to teach middle and high schoolers about nanomaterials and technologies.  I have been working under my mentor Kayla to put together “KIT #1”, which will allow students to assemble their very own triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). TENGs turn mechanical energy into electrical energy, so when the kit is fully assembled the students can tap the TENG and the included light bulb will flash.  I wish I could have gotten one of these kits when I was a kid. 

In the lab gluing foam to 80 boxes

KIT #1 TENG Assembly 

Apart from getting ready for NANO KOREA, the new interns and I got to officially finish our training.  Of course, there are too many machines to cover in just a week, but I definitely feel more comfortable using lab equipment.  

Training: learning how to use the Mask Aligner

One thing I absolutely love about getting to do research at SNU, is getting to eat at SNU!  Everyday I look forward to lunch and I have yet to be disappointed with a meal.  Everything tastes so GOOD!! I also got to taste the “famous campus waffle” as my lab mate, Tae-Kyung, explained. 

Pic 1: Cafeteria lunch: Kimchi fried rice w/ egg, and pork on the side Pic 2: Cafe run with the lab and a famous campus waffle

Excursions

With longer hours at the lab this week, I did not have much time to do things after work.  I took the time I did have, however, to do some grocery shopping and buy snacks to share with my lab.  I have to give a special shout-out to the 떡볶이 (Tteokbokki) restaurant, Tteokcham, Elizabeth, Nadia, and I had for dinner after work.  From perfectly cooked cheesy Tteokbokki with sausage, to the crispy chicken and side of tater tots, it was a dinner to remember.  Teokbokki has definitely been my favorite here, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Tteokbokki dinner from the Sillim-branch of Tteokcham

In comparison to past weekends, this weekend was much more laid back and relaxing (which was very much needed!).  On Friday night, we went to a cool “hip hop” lounge in Hongdae that played a mix of 90s and recent R&B and rap hits.  Our new friend, AZ, knew the owner and it was a great time!  We also met a group there that works for the iconic “CU” convenience store.  They helped end our roomie debate on whether Korean-style radish is sour or sweet (it’s definitely sour). 

Pic 1: Elizabeth, Nadia, me, and our new friend AZ at a hip hop lounge  Pic 2: Elizabeth and I in the Hannamgyo Bridge while on our way home 

The next day the “Seoul Gang” aka Ryoma, Elizabeth, Nadia, and I, visited The National Museum of Korea.  The building was HUGE and the interior design was absolutely stunning.  There is so much incredible history documented there and the few hours we were there was definitely not enough to grasp it all. The museum was also very interactive, we even got to be a part of one of the exhibits with one of our pictures on the giant projection.  

Entrance to the ceramics exhibition at the National Museum of Korea

Pic 1: The Seoul Gang in front of the display Pagoda Pic 2: Can you find us in the exhibit?

We left the museum at closing and went to go find food, as we were all basically starving.  There was one problem though.  Everything was closed. With COVID restrictions we knew that everywhere had to be closed by 10pm, what we did not realize was that restaurants tend to close at 9pm.  Luckily we found a cute little sandwich shop just before we were about to give up and go to McDonalds.  I kid you not, our sandwiches were inhaled in a matter of minutes. 

Pulled pork and beef sandwiches from sandwich shop

Communication Workshop

Our workshop session this week was quite interesting and pretty hilarious.  Dr. Moser asked us to tell an interesting story.  We all chose to talk about our weekend in Daejeon, reminiscing on our little trip.  It was also funny to see the different perspectives we had of the trip.  I resonated with Elizabeth’s recount the most, as I definitely was not prepared to scale Gyeryongson.  Ryoma also shared his experience getting home after missing his bus, something I definitely would not have handled as well as he did. 

In the midst of it all, Dr. Moser pointed out things that we can do to make ourselves better storytellers.  He advised me to make more parallels in my stories and circle back to things to make the story feel more whole.  I think he made a great point because I often feel like when I am speaking I can sometimes be all over the place, so circling back prevents that from happening. 

Special Mentions

Newly announced presidential candidate, Yoon Seok-youl, visited SNU!  My lab mates and I went to go see, and press was everywhere.  He stationed himself right in front of the College of Engineering doors and gave a little speech.  He drew quite a crowd, even professors were coming out to see.  Here’s some more info about why he was there:  Presidential hopeful opposes gov’t’s nuke policy | Yonhap News Agency (yna.co.kr)

Media stationed outside, waiting for presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl, and 2nd image from Yonhap News