Workshop

It’s workshop 5, and Dr. Moser says, “Tell me an interesting story from this week.” My mind went blank. Did anything interesting happen last week? Well, you read the last blog. Of course interesting things happened last week: hiking, dinners, fun in the lab. I chose to talk about the night our group had dinner at a korean bbq restaurant. I worried if I could tell a good version of the story, but all I needed to do was apply Dr. Moser’s START method. Explain the Situation. Then define the Task at hand. Next, state the Action taken. Reveal the Result. Finally, wrap it up with the Takeaway. Before I knew it, I had my whole story outlined, and it was surprisingly easy to present it to the group.

Korean bbq with Ryoma and Nathan…and the server being caught off gaurd

I enjoyed this activity because it allowed everyone to share a unique perspective from our weekend together in Daejeon. After hearing everyone’s stories, I learned that we were not always seeing things in the same way. It was nice to relieve the weekend through everyone’s stories. Dr. Moser also helped us fine tune our stories and asked questions to elicit more important details that we left out. Overall, it was another productive, fun learning experience with Dr. Moser.

Lab Time

Did someone say tteokbokki for lunch to begin week 3? Yes, Jingshu did, and I was thrilled. This time, however, we had it fresh from a restaurant(instead of takeout to the lab like last week), and it was the best version of tteokbokki yet. On Thursday (7/1) we had a birthday celebration for my mentor Soyun. In Dr. Hong’s lab, it is a tradition to celebrate birthdays, so Soyun already knew about the celebration. No surprise party unfortunately. Then, on Friday, Jason and I ate Indian food at a restaurant near campus. The presentation was nice(as seen in the picture), but the taste was even better.

Tikka masala (left) and tteokbokki (right)

As for research progress, the sample of Hydroxyapatite(HA) needed one more day to finish drying before analysis could begin. Therefore, I was instructed to learn more about a chemical analysis technique called X-ray Diffraction(XRD). Once the sample was ready, Soyun sent it to the XRD lab and our results came back later the next day. It showed a good indication that HA was present in our sample. This was great news since it was not a guarantee that the experiment would work correctly. However, there were more tests that needed to be done since XRD only gives information on the chemical makeup of the sample. On Friday, we used a machine called a Scanning Electron Microscope(SEM) to take highly magnified images of our sample. This microscope can magnify objects over 50,000x larger than they appear to our eyes, so it was very exciting to look at the sample.

HA sample 18,000x magnification

HA sample at 50,000x magnification

Excursions

Over the weekend, Nathan and I met up with a few friends from my lab: Jason, Chi Hao, Jingshu, and We. We visited the National Science Museum again and saw the exhibits that we missed from the previous visit. I greatly enjoyed the Natural History exhibit. The replicas of the dinosaurs won me over(when I was really young, I was obsessed with dinosaurs, so naturally it was the coolest part of the exhibit). 

Natural History Exhibit at National Science Museum in Daejeon

We spent the rest of the day having lunch and talking in a coffee shop before heading to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. My friend Chris, an American that teaches english, met up with our group at the restaurant. Jingshu ordered the food because the menu was in Chinese. Little did we know she ordered half the menu. The waiters brought plate after plate. Two hours later, we were stuffed.

Everyone at the Chinese restaurant for dinner on Saturday night

The next day was July 4th(yes, it’s just called July 4th in Korea). It was rainy weather, so Nathan, Chris and I met up to go bowling. We also ate Baskin Robbins ice cream, so I’d say in a sense we still celebrated being American.

Baskin Robbins in Daejeon